Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Luncheon

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


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 are 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 will be available from City of Bloomington and Normal Human Relations Commission members beginning November 1. Tickets may also be purchased at the Bloomington and Normal city halls. Single tickets are $20. Reserved tables are available.
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, receiving a Distinguished Alumni of ISU Award in 2000, 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.

       Judge James A. Knecht

Photo of Judge James A. Knecht

Nominations


The Normal 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 in the Town of Normal.

Criteria for Nominees


  • The nominee must have been a resident of Normal for two years immediately prior to nomination.
  • Youth I Have a Dream nominees must be attending high school in Normal or 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.
  • Normal Human Relations Commissioners, staff, their family members and past awardees are ineligible to receive the award.

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.

Nomination Process


  • Complete the nomination formNominations will be judged solely on the responses to questions on the nomination form; no supporting materials will be accepted.
  • Normal Human Relations Commissioners will review the nominations and determine the award winner.
  • Winner will be announced and awards will be presented at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Luncheon on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at the Uptown Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center

Sponsorship Opportunies


Please support this event by taking advantage of sponsorship opportunities.  

Previous Adult Human Relations Award Recipients

  • 2017 - Mary Aplington
  • 2016 - Marcos Mendez
  • 2015 - Takesha Stokes
  • 2014 - Paul Bushnell
  • 2013 - Quincy Cummings
  • 2012 - Orlyn Edge
  • 2011 - Cynthia D. Ashby
  • 2010 - Donald Crayton
  • 2009 - Brandon Caffey
  • 2008 - Monica Taylor
  • 2007 - Dr. Jeanne Morris
  • 2006 - Dr. Joann Walters
  • 2005 - William A. Myers
  • 2004 - Carla Campbell-Jackson
  • 2003 - Brenda Melcher
  • 2002 - Patricia Turner
  • 2001 - Ronald Morehead
  • 2000 - Jana Edge
  • 1999 - Reverend Richard Watts
  • 1998 - Robert Sutherland
  • 1997 - Reverend James Hines
  • 1996 - James A. Knecht
  • 1995 - Jewel Beale
  • 1994 - Carol Schrantz
  • 1993 - Frank Suggs
  • 1992 - Robert Hathway
  • 1991 - Mary E. Campbell
  • 1990 - Scott Eatherly
  • 1989 - Dr. Mildred Pratt
  • 1988 - Pamela Oliver
  • 1987 - Carol Reitan
  • 1986 - Reverend James W. Pruyne
  • 1985 - Reverend William A. Hammitt
  • 1984 - Melba Moore
  • 1983 - Dr. Williams D. Colvin
  • 1982 - Kathryn P. Dean
  • 1981 - Dale R. Jackson
  • 1981 - Reverend Tom Todd
  • 1980 - Anna Keaton
  • 1979 - Charles Morris
  • 1978 - Dr. Ralph Lewis Smith
  • 1977 - Merlin Kennedy

Previous Youth "I Have A Dream" Award Recipients

  • 2017 - Sujith Molakala
  • 2016 - Amari Funderburg
  • 2015 - Kristina Smith
  • 2014 - Likhita Kalla
  • 2013 - Akshay Nambiar
  • 2012 - Atticus Francken
  • 2011 - Detertorian D. Sanders
  • 2010 - Tiara Farris
  • 2009 - Jessica Rardin
  • 2008 - Molly Sender
  • 2007 - Tosha Childs
  • 2006 - Lauren Kay Murphy
  • 2005 - Noelle Harper
  • 2004 - Sheytophia Jimenez
  • 2003 - Joel Allen
  • 2002 - David C. Foster
  • 2001 - Jacob Fulk
  • 2000 - Carley Schinault
  • 1999 - Rachel Gordon
  • 1998 - Sara Chan
  • 1997 - Walter D. Pano
  • 1996 - Supna Chaudhari
  • 1995 - Chinonye Nnakwe
  • 1994 - Rachel A. Reynard