2019 MLK Countywide Celebration

The 2019 Countywide Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee would like to extend an invitation to the public where award recipients will be honored during the 18th Annual MLK Celebration on Friday, January 18, 2019, at 5 p.m. at the Vineyard Church (1500 N. Lincoln Ave., Urbana). A reception starting at 4:00 p.m. will precede the ceremony. This event is sponsored by the Countywide MLK Celebration Committee, which consists of representatives from the City of Champaign, the City of Urbana, Champaign County, Parkland College, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Village of Rantoul. For more information, please check out our website:

2018 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 Vineyard Church on January 12, 2018.

2018 Award Recipients

  • James R. Burgess, Jr. – Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award – Valena Greene and Breanna Donald
  • Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award – Girl Scout Troop 2207, Alex Buffo and C-U Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Girls Youth Group
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award – Breana Smith-Stuber

Watch the 2018 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.

2018 Celebration

The 5th Annual Welcome Awards Ceremony and Celebration was held on September 22, 2018, at the Urbana Free Library. The event included food, music, art projects for children, special guests, and featured a special performance by Ballet Folklorico Mitotiani, a local dance group that shares traditional dances from different regions of Mexico.

2018 Welcome Award Recipients

  • Business Leadership Award – Diva Nails
  • Community Impact Award – Carle Community Care
  • Distinguished Leadership Service Awards – Roaa Al-Heeti, Mike Doyle
  • Leadership Awards – Luis Cuza, Luzolo Jean Cesar Ntedika
  • Student Leadership Award – Carmen Hernandez

Watch the 2018 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.