Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Countywide Celebration and Awards
The Cities of Champaign and Urbana, Champaign County, Parkland College, and the University of Illinois accept nominations year round for the Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Countywide Celebration. Members of the community are invited to nominate candidates (individuals or organizations) for the annual awards. This celebration is held in January on the Friday preceding the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. To nominate an individual or organization for the 2018 celebration, please go to the Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Countywide Celebration webpage at mlkcelebration.org/nominate.
Individuals and Organizations can be nominated for the following awards:
• James R. Burgess, Jr. – Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award: honors the humanitarian efforts of individuals/organizations that improve the human condition by alleviating suffering and contributing to the basic human dignity of those in need;
• Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award: honors individuals/organizations that engage in outstanding volunteerism and in so doing, contribute to the well-being of the Champaign County Community;
• The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award: honors individuals/organizations that work for social justice in the spirit of Dr. King. The principles of justice that Dr. King espoused include promoting equal rights for all persons regardless of race, religion, economic status, or physical or mental disability.
2018 MLK Countywide Celebration – January 12, 2018
The 2018 MLK Countywide Celebration will be on January 12, 2018. The event starts at 4 p.m. and will be held at Vineyard Church, 1500 N Lincoln Avenue, Urbana. This annual event is always free and open to the public and features a presentation of awards and a keynote speaker.
2017 MLK Countywide Celebration Recap
The Cities of Champaign and Urbana, the Champaign County Board, Parkland College, and the University of Illinois celebrated the legacy of Dr. King at the 16th Annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Countywide Celebration held at Parkland College on January 13, 2017.
2017 Award Recipients
- James R. Burgess, Jr. – Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award – Lucia Maldonado
- Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award – Stone Creek Church
- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award – Dr. Ellis Drive 6
Watch the 2017 MLK Countywide Celebration Video
Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony and Celebration
The Cities of Champaign and Urbana, the CU Immigration Forum, and the Urbana Free Library are proud to co-sponsor the Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony and Celebration. This event is held in conjunction with Welcoming Week, a national week of events that brings both immigrants and U.S.-born residents together in a spirit of unity and raises awareness of the benefits of fostering an inclusive society. In 2017, the Cities merged the Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards (CUIHA) with the Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony, as a new collaborative way to celebrate the accomplishments of local residents and organizations who are positively impacting lives both here and around the world.
The 2017 Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony and Celebration was held on September 23, 2017, at the Muslim American Society Center in Urbana. This free annual event is free and open to the public. Participants can expect food and fun for the whole family as our community comes together to celebrate individuals and organizations that contributed to international humanitarian and human rights efforts or created a welcoming atmosphere for immigrants in Champaign County.
2017 Welcome Award Recipients
- Human Rights Award – Karyl Wackerlin
- Community Impact Award – Education Justice Project, Immigration Project
- Distinguished Leadership Service Award – Charles Larenas
- Humanitarian Relief Award – Samuel Smith
- Student Leadership Award – Nancy Ramirez-Blancas
Watch the 2017 Immigrant Welcome Awards Video
Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards – (Retired)
From 2002-2016, the Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards (CUIHA) were held annually to celebrate the achievements of Champaign County residents and organizations making significant contributions to international causes. In 2017, the Cities formed a new collaboration with other local organizations who also honor those involved in humanitarian causes. As a result of this new partnership, the Champaign-Urbana International Humanitarian Awards are now included in the annual Immigrant Welcome Award Ceremony and Celebration, which is detailed above. The merging of these similar award programs reaffirms Champaign-Urbana’s commitment to celebrating both local and international humanitarian efforts. The Cities continue to honor and recognize the achievements of all past CUIHA winners, as well as those who remain committed to improving our global community.