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MLK Jr. Community Service Awards

The call for nominations is open for the 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for Community Service, which recognizes outstanding commitments to volunteer service by members of the Johns Hopkins community. All faculty, staff, employees, graduate students, and retirees are eligible to be nominated to receive this award.

The community service must have been completed during 2018 and should not be a part of the individual’s duties at Johns Hopkins. You may want to review the information with the nominee to ensure that you have the most accurate information regarding his or her volunteer work and the impact of the work. The deadline for submission is Friday, September 21, 2018.

Community Service awards will be presented at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration on January 18, 2019 to those individuals who demonstrate the same spirit of volunteerism, citizenship, and activism that characterized the life of Dr. King, who personified a deep faith in what people working together could accomplish for themselves and their nation.

Johns Hopkins's annual commemoration celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. by honoring community service by members of JHU and JHH/JHHS who demonstrate the same spirit of volunteerism and citizenship that characterized the life of Dr. King. Throughout his life, Dr. King had a deep faith in what people working together could accomplish for themselves and for their nation.

Who is eligible?

All faculty, staff, graduate students and retirees of the university, all staff, employees and retirees of the hospital and health system, and 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.

How does the nomination process work?

Anyone may nominate an individual who has volunteered time and energy during 2018 to benefit others. Previous recipients may be re-nominated on the basis of a new volunteer activity performed in 2018. Self-nominations are accepted. All nominations must be submitted on the nomination form and include the following information by Friday, September 21, 2018

  1. Nominee's name, address, telephone number, position, and department in which he or she is currently employed.
  2. A detailed description of the community service the nominee performed; the impact of the volunteer work; any special qualities, creativity and/or resourcefulness the nominee demonstrated; and length of volunteer involvement. (You may want to review the information with the nominee to ensure that you have the most accurate information regarding his or her volunteer work and the impact of the volunteerism.)
  3. Reasons why the nominee should be recognized by this award.
  4. Nominator's name, address, and telephone number.


What are the criteria for selection?

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.

Who chooses the recipients?

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

2017 Recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award

The 2017 Community Service Award recipients are from left: Edward McKay Jr., Darcenia McDowell, Juliet Robinson, Darren Brownlee, Renee Blanding, Carrie Holdren-Serrell, Rhonda Johnson and Ariel Hicks.

Learn more about the eight recipients.

Renee Blanding, M.D., Vice President of Medical Affairs, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Darren Brownlee, Assistant Administrator, School of Medicine

Ariel Hicks, Research Assistant, School of Medicine

Carrie Holdren-Serrell, Clinical Scientist, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Rhonda Johnson, Informatics Program Coordinator, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Darcenia McDowell, Laboratory Service Technician, School of Medicine

Edward McKay Jr., Surgical Technician, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Juliet Robinson, Surgical Technician, The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Johns Hopkins Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration Keynote Speakers

2017 - Dr. Robert Higgins 
2016 - Dr. Levi Garraway and Denyce Graves 
2015 - Morris Dees (See Commemeration Recording)1999 - Julian Bond
2014 - Freeman A. Hrabowski1998 - Levi Watkins and Benjamin Carson
2013 - Benjamin Jealous1997 - Kweisi Mfume
2012 - Martin Luther King, III1996 - The Rev. Bernice King
2011 - Shirley Sherrod and Regina Benjamin1995 -  Sweet Honey in the Rock
2010 - Lou Gossett, Jr.
1994 - Yolanda King, Ossie Davie, and Ruby Dee
2009 - Lynn Whitfield and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings1993 - Johnetta Coles and Maya Angelou
2008 - Levi Watkins1990 - Stevie Wonder
2007 - Maya Angelou1988 -  Rosa Parks and Ralph Abernathy
2006 - James Earl Jones1987 - Zenani Mendela and Benjamin Hooks
2005 - Rev. Jesse Jackson1986 - The Rev. Desmond Tutu
2004 - Cicely Tyson1985 - Harry Belafonte
2003 - Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte, Ideals Award Recipient1984 - Andre Young
2002- Coretta Scott King1983 - Coretta Scott King
2001 - John Lewis and Dick Gregory, Ideals Award Recipient1982 - Martin Luther King, III and Bernard Lee
2000 - Taylor Branch 


Updated 1/9/2018