MLK Awards Program

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Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Program

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon

The Human Relations Commission annually gives awards to one student and one adult for contributions to the cause of bettering human relations in the Community.

Nominations for the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards were due by Friday, December 1, 2017. Awards will be presented at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon on Saturday, January 20, 2018, from 1:00 - 3:00 pm at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal.

Tickets for the 2018 luncheon honoring Dr. King were available from City of Bloomington and Normal Human Relations Commission members beginning November 1. Ticket sales for this year's event have ended.
This year’s guest speaker will be James A. Knecht, a Justice of the Appellate Court, Fourth District, who has been a judicial officer for 42 years. Judge Knecht won the Town of Normal's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in 2000. He served on the faculty of ISU for 27 years and is currently a member of the ISU Foundation Board. A past president of the Appellate Lawyers Association and the Beyond the Books Educational Foundation, he was awarded the Abraham Lincoln Award of Excellence in 2000, the League of Women Voters Florence Fifer Bohrer Award in 2008, and an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Lincoln College in 2013.


The Human Relations Commission has established the Adult Human Relations award and the Youth I Have a Dream award to recognize the achievements of individuals who have made outstanding contributions to human relations causes.

Criteria for Nominees

  • The nominee must have been a resident of Bloomington for two years immediately prior to nomination.
  • Youth I Have a Dream nominees must be attending high school in Bloomington and show good academic achievement while accomplishing community activities.
  • For Adult nominees, the activity for which the individual is being nominated must be personal and not a part of the individual’s work related duties.
  • Self-nominations will not be accepted.
  • Bloomington Human Relations Commissioners, staff, family members and past winners are not eligible.

Selection Criteria

  • A demonstrated commitment to improving cooperation and fostering mutual respect among people of different races, religions, sexual preferences and abilities.
  • Use of new and creative measures to fight discrimination, prejudice and the effects of past discrimination.


Congrats to Jordyn Blythe and Xavier Higgins, winners of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have a Dream" awards, and to Andre Hursey and the late Lorenzo Marshall, the recipients of the Adult awards.

Sponsorship Opportunies

Please support this event by taking advantage of sponsorship opportunities.  

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