UMBC's Hrabowski headlines Johns Hopkins' annual MLK Jr. commemoration

Begun in 1982, event honors King's legacy of nonviolent activism, service

Image caption: The recipients of the 2014 Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards are, from left to right, Jennifer Lockhart, Kristin Sheffield-Hunt, Bridget Calvert, Ede Taylor, and Nusaiba Baker (all seated); and Anthony Walker, Brian Boyle, and Arthur Burnett II.

Credit: Keith Weller

Freeman Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and one of Time magazine's 2012 "Most Influential People in the World," will deliver the keynote address at Johns Hopkins' 32nd annual commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy. The event will take place on Friday at noon in Turner Auditorium on the university's East Baltimore campus.

Freeman Hrabowski

Image caption: Freeman Hrabowski

Image credit: UMBC

Begun in 1982, the Johns Hopkins Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration honors the Nobel Peace Prize winner's legacy of nonviolent activism and community service. Past speakers include Maya Angelou, Harry Belafonte Jr., Stevie Wonder, James Earl Jones, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Rosa Parks, and Coretta Scott King.

Growing up in Birmingham, Ala., Hrabowski was quite familiar with Dr. King's passionate work for civil rights. As a child, he participated in civil rights protests and heard King speak at the funerals of four girls killed in the 1963 Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.

The theme of this year's event is "Equal Justice and Equal Opportunity: Our Children Deserve No Less," and the selection of Hrabowski as the keynote speaker couldn't be more appropriate. Hrabowski's research focuses on minority participation in science and math education. As a result of his leadership, UMBC has become one of the nation's leaders in awarding postgraduate science and engineering degrees to African-American students.

Friday's commemoration will be hosted by retired Johns Hopkins cardiac surgeon Levi Watkins Jr., a former associate dean for postdoctoral programs and the founder of the annual event. Watkins will present eight members of the Johns Hopkins community with Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Awards, honoring their outstanding commitment to volunteer community services and humanity in the spirit of the life that King lived. The award recipients are:

  • Nusaiba Baker – graduate student, Krieger School of Arts & Sciences

  • Brian Boyle – graduate student – Advanced Academic Programs

  • Arthur Burnett II- School of Medicine

  • Bridget Calvert, project manager, Operations Support and Business Process Management - Johns Hopkins Health Care

  • Jennifer Lockhart, practice administrator, OBGYN - Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

  • Kristin Sheffield-Hunt – Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

  • Ede Taylor, project coordinator, Office of Community Health – Johns Hopkins Health System

  • Anthony Walker, protective services officer, Corporate Security, Johns Hopkins Hospital

The event will also feature a performance of gospel selections by Johns Hopkins' own Unified Voices choir.

It will be simulcast at the following Johns Hopkins locations:

  • All Children's Hospital, Outpatient Care Center Classroom B

  • Applied Physical Laboratory, main campus, Room 5-101

  • Homewood campus, Levering Hall, Great Hall

  • Howard County General Hospital, Medical Library

  • Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, Carroll Auditorium

  • Johns Hopkins HealthCare, Deer Creek Conference Room

  • Johns Hopkins at Keswick, Auditorium

  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, Wyman Park, Room 302

  • Johns Hopkins Community Physicians, White Marsh, Wilczek Room

  • Sheikh Zayed Tower, Chevy Chase Bank Auditorium, Room 2119A

  • Sibley Memorial Hospital, Renaissance Conference Room 2

  • Suburban Hospital, Auditorium

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