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MLK Jr. Service Award

The Martin Luther King Jr. Award for Community Service recognizes outstanding commitment to volunteer service by members of the Johns Hopkins community. All faculty, staff, and graduate students are eligible to be nominated for this award.

2019 Recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award

  • Adebola Giwa, pediatric endocrinology physician, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
  • Jordan Grant, student, Baltimore City College
  • Erica Johnson, assistant professor, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
  • Vicki Miques Jordan, clinical operations supervisor, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Monique Levy, patient service coordinator, The Johns Hopkins Hospital
  • Celia Litovsky, Ph.D. student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Brittany Avin McKelvey, Ph.D. candidate, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Kijon Renfroe, project associate, Johns Hopkins HealthCare
  • Blossom Tewelde, medical student, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


All faculty, staff, and graduate students of the university and health system, as well as persons regularly assigned to work at Hopkins through affiliated organizations, are eligible to receive the award. Members of the Martin Luther King Jr. nomination review panels, executive committee, and celebration committee are not eligible.

Nomination Process

Nominations for 2021 will open in October 2020.

Anyone may nominate an individual who has volunteered time and energy during 2020 to benefit others. Previous award recipients may be re-nominated 5 years after receiving their initial award. Self-nominations are accepted. All nominations must be submitted through the form.

Selection Criteria

Two nomination review panels, one composed of university employees and one composed of health system employees, will evaluate the nominations.

The nomination review panels will base their recommendations on the nominee’s accomplishments achieved through voluntary community service and the impact of that service on the surrounding community. Panels will consider special qualities demonstrated by the nominee and the nominee’s resourcefulness while performing community service. The frequency of the activity as well as the length of service will also be considered. Preference will be given to community service performed locally; however, panels will consider service performed elsewhere.

The panels will make their selections and forward their recommendations to the Martin Luther King Jr. executive committee for final review and approval. All nominators and award recipients will be notified in November.

Past Keynote Speakers

Past keynote speakers for the Johns Hopkins Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration:

2020: Valerie Montgomery Rice
2019: Derrick Johnson
2018: Minnijean Brown Tricky
2017: Dr. Robert Higgins
2016: Dr. Levi Garraway and Denyce Graves
2015: Morris Dees
2014: Freeman A. Hrabowski
2013: Benjamin Jealous
2012: Martin Luther King, III
2011: Shirley Sherrod and Regina Benjamin
2010: Lou Gossett, Jr.
2009: Lynn Whitfield and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings
2008: Levi Watkins
2007: Maya Angelou
2006: James Earl Jones
2005: Rev. Jesse Jackson
2004: Cicely Tyson
2003: Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, Ideals Award Recipient
2002: Coretta Scott King
2001: John Lewis and Dick Gregory, Ideals Award Recipient
2000: Taylor Branch
1999: Julian Bond
1998: Levi Watkins and Benjamin Carson
1997: Kweisi Mfume
1996: The Rev. Bernice King
1995: Sweet Honey in the Rock
1994: Yolanda King, Ossie Davie, and Ruby Dee
1993: Johnetta Coles and Maya Angelou
1990: Stevie Wonder
1988: Rosa Parks and Ralph Abernathy
1987: Zenani Mendela and Benjamin Hooks
1986: The Rev. Desmond Tutu
1985: Harry Belafonte
1984: Andre Young
1983: Coretta Scott King
1982: Martin Luther King, III and Bernard Lee