Orlando Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission

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The mission for the Orlando Mayor's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission is to strengthen our community by promoting Dr. King's legacy of service, equality, justice, peace, respect and inclusion for all.

For more than three decades, the MLK Commission has joined with corporate and community partners to plan and promote a variety of programs and events that celebrate his life and legacy.

The Commission is a partnership and represents a cross-section of civic leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors. Its primary responsibilities include fundraising, marketing, media relations and overall coordination of citywide MLK events.

Upcoming MLK Events

Orlando Mayor Dyer appoints 24 people from the private, public and not-for-profit sector. In addition to the Commission’s programs and events, such as the MLK Youth Humanitarian Program, the MLK Concert and the Great Day of Service, the Commission is responsible for fundraising, supporting, promoting and coordinating events throughout the Greater Orlando area, primarily occurring  around the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in January. The Commission is led by an executive team and supported by City of Orlando staff. 

The executive team meets year round, and the Commission meets throughout the fall and winter with concentrated times during the weeks before and after the King Holiday (the third Monday in January). Members are expected to attend the Commission meetings and as many of the Holiday weekend events as possible:

  • to help “spread the word” to their workplaces and other communities.
  • participate in the Mayor’s MLK Humanitarian Award Service which is usually held in February.

There are six to eight MLK Commission meetings and numerous events during the two weeks before and after the King Holiday. This includes a Great Day of Service (GDOS) on the King Holiday. Meetings are held at Orlando City Hall. The events take place throughout the city.

2020 Commission Roster

Kyle Alexandre
Walt Disney World

Edwanna Andrews, Ph.D.
University of Central Florida

Rev. Josh Bell
Valencia College

Vicki J. Brooks
Member-at-large

Patricia A. Broussard, Esq.
Florida A&M University College of Law

Kathrine Brownlee
Member-at-large

Michael Dorcean
Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce

Leon Gantt
Wyndam Destinations

Brandy Hand, Esq. - Chair
Hand and Chapman, P.L.

Krisita Jackson
Member-at-large

Marissa John, Esq. 
Baker Hostetler LLP

Corey Johnson
OUC

Justin Kinsey
Lanier Parking Solutions

Cliff Long
Orlando Regional Realtor Association

Gene Martin
Orlando Magic

Lee Nimkoff
Brio Properties

Dawn Ofodile, MPA
Fifth Third Bank

Kellie Parkin
The Pride Chamber

Jonathon M. Perry, Esq.
Greenberg Traurig, P.A.

Courtney Powell
AceApplications, LLC

Kran Riley
Wayne M. Densch Charities, Inc.

Marisol Romany, M.Ed.
Orlando Health

Amman Thomas, Ph.D.
JP Morgan Chase

Rick Whitted
JP Morgan Chase

Codeye J. Woody
Orange County Public Schools

The national holiday commemorating the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. began in 1986. In anticipation of the new holiday, Orlando City Commissioner Mable Butler urged the City of Orlando to formally establish a committee to recognize and honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the national King Holiday. Mayor Bill Frederick established the Martin Luther King Celebration Day Committee in 1985.  Although the city had provided funding for activities, this group was also charged with planning and coordinating holiday activities. The group saw the holiday as an opportunity to bring the community together.

Shortly thereafter, the small group was expanded by Mayor Frederick to include appointed members from the public, private and non-profit sectors to fundraise and coordinate celebration and recognition events each January and was renamed the Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission. It is important to note that two community organizations have partnered with the Commission since its inception: the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and the Southwest Orlando Jaycees.  

The work of the Commission continued to increase under the administration of Mayor Glenda E. Hood.  In order to show the importance of the MLK Holiday to the City of Orlando, she initiated the vigil at City Hall and the community candlelight walk to the annual interfaith service. Mayor Hood challenged the Commission each year to reach out to different populations in the community. As a result of her request to reach out to our community’s youth, the Mayor’s MLK Youth Humanitarian Award program began in 2000. One student from each middle and high school in Orange County Public Schools was selected each year because he or she demonstrated specific ideals of Dr. King. This program, which is now a leadership program for OCPS high school students, has grown to be the Commission’s own signature event with nationally-known speakers inspiring the students, families, school personnel, Commission sponsors and guests at the annual award service.

Under the committed leadership of current Mayor Buddy Dyer, the Commission has evolved from concentrating primarily on holiday events to a year-round commission which focuses on specific aspects of Dr. King’s legacy - service, equality, peace, justice and inclusion for all. A name change as well as a new mission statement came with that expanded focus.

The name change and expanded mission have resulted in the Commission participating in, supporting and leading community events, such as the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington and the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Like Mayor Hood, Mayor Dyer challenges the Commission each year to continue to broaden its outreach into the community each year.

Class of 2020 Humanitarian Recipients

High School Student Full Name
Acceleration Academy East High Ariadne Quintero
Acceleration Academy West High Nephtalie Dor
Apopka High School Kaila Palmer
Boone High School Aubrey Sublette
Colonial High School Josue Maldonado-Zelaya
Cypress Creek High School Robert Sena
Dr. Phillips High School Tianna Stevenson
East River High School Paige Kalish
Edgewater High School Joshua Lee
Evans High School Patrice Quetant
Freedom High School Morgan Cobb
Jones High School Paige Elise Perry
Lake Nona High School Connor Wesley Darwish
Lake Nona High School Brindesi Sanders
Oak Ridge High School Gedeon Guercin
Ocoee High School Brittany Hart
Olympia School Reina Fortune
Sheeler High School Jasmine Flint
Timber Creek High School Ana Bello
University High School Jolisa A. King
Wekiva High School Shanelle White
West Orange High School Rajay Lennox Preddie
Windermere High School Daniel C. Hay
Winter Park High School Joelle Hardy

 

Message to our Sponsors:

We are grateful to our sponsors and community supporters for your commitment to our community becoming the beloved community that Dr. King dreamed about.

Become a Sponsor

If you would like to invest in our mission and work, become a sponsor of the commission, or speak with someone about making an investment. View the sponsorship package.

Current Sponsors

MLK Sponsor Logos

RESPECT

Brio Properties, Greenburg Traurig, Orlando Realtors Association

INCLUSION

4Rivers, Accredited Surety and Casualty Company, Inc, City of Orlando, Cox Media Group, Florida A & M University College of Law, Pepsico

DR. KING PATRON

First United Methodist Church of Orlando, Holland & Knight, LeCesse Development Corporation

DR. KING SUPPORTER

Florida Citrus Sports, Tavistock

 

 

"I am proud to be the Mayor of Orlando, a city that is strong and united, and one in which diversity and inclusion are core values. Orlando is a city for everyone – a diverse, inclusive, compassionate, welcoming place.” – Mayor Buddy Dyer

Stewardship: $76,175

  • 38% - Community Outreach and Support
  • 46% - MLK Events Funded
  • 15% - Scholarships, Student Awards & Recognition
  • 33% - Administration

Scholarships & Awards: $37,872

  • Humanitarian Awards $4,372
  • Humanitarian In-kind Awards $27,500
  • College Scholarships $6,000

Major Events

  • Candlelight Vigil and Interfaith Multicultural Celebration
  • Mayor’s MLK Youth Humanitarians Program and Award Service
  • Downtown Orlando Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade
  • Nine Great Day of Service Projects
  • Beyond the Dream MLK Concert
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Luncheon
  • Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast
  • Rise: Conversations of Race and Unity

Highlights

  • 800+ volunteers participated in donating 3,200 hours during Nine Great Day of Service projects throughout the City of Orlando supported by the Orlando Police Department and the Orlando Fire Department
  • Funded 26 community events celebrating Dr. King's legacy and promoted 13 additional events
  • 24 OCPS High School students were recognized and celebrated as the Mayor’s MLK Youth Humanitarians who exemplify the ideals of Dr. King

Sponsors 

Thank you to the following supporters whose donations help contribute to the legacy of Dr. King.

Drum Major/Signature ($11,000+ Cash Donation)

OUC - The Reliable One

Equality ($7,500+ CASH DONATION)

Walt Disney World Co. • Wayne M. Densch Charities, Inc. • Wells Fargo

Justice ($5,000+ CASH DONATION)

Darden Restaurants • Orlando Health • Orlando Magic

Peace ($2,500+ CASH DONATION)

CNL Financial Group • Fields Auto Group • Florida Blue • Golf Channel • JP Morgan Chase • Lockheed Martin • MSL CPAs & Advisors • Orlando Regional Realtors Association • Shutts • Universal Orlando Resort • University of Central Florida • Valencia Community College

Respect ($1,500+ CASH DONATION)

Brio Properties • Greenberg Traurig • Wyndham Destination

Inclusion ($1,000+ CASH OR $2,000 IN-KIND DONATION)

Ace Applications LLC • Bank of America • City of Orlando • Cox Media Group • FAMU College of Law • Florida Citrus Sports • Publix Charities • Red Lobster • Orange County Regional History Center • Resource Employment Solutions • SeaWorld Orlando • Tharp Publishing

Dr. King Patron ($500+ CASH or $1,000 IN-KIND DONATION)

City Beverages • CPH, Inc. • Lowndes • Roger B. Kennedy, Inc. • First United Methodist Church of Orlando • Sunnyhome Realty, LLC

Dr. King Supporter ($250+ CASH)

Patricia Broussard