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


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.

MLK Commission group photo with Orlando City Council

Orlando Mayor Dyer appoints 30 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.

2022 Commission Roster

Kyle Alexandre
Orlando Regional Realtor Association

Edwanna Andrews, Ph.D.
University of Central Florida 

Rev. Josh Bell
One Orlando Alliance

Jennifer Bellinger
Orange County Public Schools

Vicki J. Brooks

Welby Boisrond
Greater Haitian American Chamber of Commerce Orlando  

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

Kathrine Brownlee

Nathalie M. Cumbie
Orange County Public Schools

Michel Dorcean

Leon Gantt

Jose L. Gonzalez
Walt Disney World 

Quibulah Graham
Orlando Health

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

Krisita Jackson

Corey Johnson
OUC - The Reliable One

Rosene Johnson, MA
Pace Center for Girls, Orange

Rabbi David Kay
Chair, Interfaith Council of Central Florida

Angela Lagos
Universal Parks & Resorts

Cliff Long
Orlando Regional Realtor ® Association

Gene Martin
JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Lee Nimkoff
Brio Properties

Dawn Ofodile, MPA
VyStar Credit Union

Kellie Parkin
The Pride Chamber

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

Courtney Powell
Ace Applications, LLC 

Kran Riley
Wayne M. Densch Charities, Inc.

Amman Thomas, Ph.D.
JP Morgan Chase – Card Services

Elizabeth Thompson
Valencia College

Betsheell (Billie) Udofia

Rick Whitted
Feeding Children Everywhere

Keshia Woodie
Orlando Magic

City of Orlando Staff Support

Marcia Hope Goodwin
Community Affairs

Walter Hawkins
Urban Development 

Reginald McGill
Constituent Services 

Lizzette Feliciano
Multicultural Affairs

Sylvia Wills
Community Affairs

Phylicia Korchevsky
Community Affairs

The Orlando Community Pledge offers an opportunity for every individual and organization to stand with Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, his MLK Commission and our city to denounce racism and discrimination. Standing (virtually) shoulder to shoulder united in our core beliefs is a powerful statement, an even more powerful effort will be answering the call to action.

We invite you to stand with us. Sign the pledge to denounce racism and discrimination, and attend these and other upcoming programs of community engagement to learn and share your ideas for a stronger, more united Orlando.   

Sign the pledge

The Orlando Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Commission proudly presents: The Dream Community Dialogue Series, facilitated by the Valencia Peace and Justice Institute. These workshops focus on our shared humanity with an exploration of race, privilege, religion, gender, sexual orientation, bias, systems of privilege and oppression and practical application.

Through these dialogues, a sense of honesty, reflection, critical thinking and openness in the community is fostered. These workshops create a safe space for dialogue within our local communities. The Dream Series consist of six highly interactive, multi-media workshops over a selected period, creating sustained dialogue and culture, while building trust and relationships within the community. The workshops are custom tailored to address the concerns of the organization and our Metro Orlando community. The workshops build on each other, to create an integrated series with an end game in mind- a renewed mindset about the value of relationships, community and trust within the local community. Each workshop will be from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

View the full list of workshops

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 2023 Humanitarian Recipients

High School Student Full Name
Acceleration Academy East High Orion Romero
Acceleration Academy West High Damian "Panton" Panton
Apopka High School Seven Alexander
Boone High School Samantha Garcia
Colonial High School Kiara Arocho
Cornerstone Charter Academy Reginae Williams
Cypress Creek High School Raida Nowreen
Dr. Phillips High School Maya Celeste Morillo Santiago
East River High School Jonathan Pierre
Edgewater High School Ely'cia "Princess" Lorde
Evans High School Dehlice Ruggio
Freedom High School Eunbi "Hannah" Lim
Horizon High School Lara Martinez
Jones High School Marla Leonce
Lake Buena Vista High School Mira Patel
Lake Nona High School Madeline "Maddie" Peacock
Oak Ridge High School Faina Petit-Frere
Ocoee High School Robin Young
Olympia High School Caleb Gosa
Orange County Virtual School Rose Fyffe
Sheeler High School Christopher Bowers, Jr.
Timber Creek High School Abieyuwa "Abie" Otote
University High School Jaime Noel
Wekiva High School Jade Jacotin
West Orange High School Taylor Graham
Windermere High School Gianna Kim
Winter Park High School

Mikaela Dorceus


Learn more about the 2023 Humanitarians

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. 

Become a sponsor

Current Sponsors



OUC The Reliable One


Owens Realty Services


Wells Fargo




     Walt Disney World Resort


Orlando Regional Realtor Association, 100 Years of Opportunities.



Orlando Health     Orlando Magic     



 Florida BlueFlorida Citrus Sports  Greenburg Traurig  JPMorgan Chase and Company  GrandReserveMaitlandPark_LogoBW.jpg   Reef Mother Brand  Shutts University of Central Florida  Universal Orlando Resort  Valencia College   Wayne Densch Charities   VyStar Credit Union



FAMU College of Law, Publix Charities, True Health, US Hunger


Brio Properties, Full Sail University


Ardaman & Associates, CPH Inc., Roger B. Kennedy, Sunny Home Realty

"I am proud to be the Mayor of Orlando, a city that is strong, inclusive and united. Our core values are service, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Orlando is a diverse, compassionate, and welcoming city for everyone, and we honor and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I appreciate the extraordinary civic involvement and leadership of the Mayor's MLK Commission, our sponsors, and the Youth Humanitarians. Through the challenges of the pandemic, our Mayor's MLK Commission pivoted to offer even more outstanding programs virtually or in outdoor venues to keep our community safe.” - Mayor Buddy Dyer

Stewardship: $144,399

  • Community Outreach and Support $89,279
  • Scholarships, Student Awards & Recognition $55,075
  • Administration $45

Scholarships & Awards: $55,075

  • Humanitarian Awards $3,075
  • Humanitarian In-kind Awards $46,000
  • Scholarships $6,000

Major Events

  • The 6th Annual MLK Gospel & Spiritual Spectacular – Through Unity We Shall Overcome 

  • We Are Better Together – Drive in Movie Night

  • The Dream Series

  • Mural in Downtown Orlando

  • Community Pledge Video

  • Mayor’s MLK Youth Humanitarian Program

  • Civil Rights & Jazz Concert*

  • Interfaith Council of Central Florida and the MLK Commission - Interfaith Service

  • Southwest Orlando Jaycees and the MLK Commission’s MLK Parade Showcase

  • 35th Annual Alpha Phi Alpha Forum

  • 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Scholarship Luncheon

  • MLK Night at the Orlando Magic

  • Southwest Orlando Jaycees and the Central Florida YMCA 31st Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Program

  • Grady Rayam Foundation – Community of Hope Concert

  • One Orlando Alliance – Evening of Remembrance and Hope



  • Created the Orlando Community Pledge to denounce racism and discrimination in all forms and to show the world that we are an inclusive and affirming community

  • Sponsored a mural in Downtown Orlando to promote our mission and the community pledge

  • Collected 1,222 pounds of non-perishable food items at the 6th Annual MLK Concert for Second Harvest Food Bank

  • Funded 15 Community events celebrating Dr. King’s legacy and promoted 11 additional events

  • 25 OCPS High School students were recognized and celebrated as the Orlando Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Youth Humanitarians who exemplified the ideals of Dr. King

  • Hosted six sessions of The Dream Community Dialogue Series that focused on our shared humanity with an exploration of race, privilege, religion, gender, sexual orientation, bias, systems of privilege and oppression and practical application.



Thank you to our sponsors for your commitment to the mission of the MLK Commission. Your support has helped strengthen our community.

Drum Major/Signature

OUC - The Reliable One


Walt Disney World Resort • Orlando Regional Realtor Association • Interfaith Council of Central Florida


Orlando Health • Orlando Magic • Wells Fargo


Florida Blue • Florida Citrus Sports • Golf Channel • The Grand Reserve Maitland • The Grand Reserve at Lee Vista • Greenberg Traurig • JP Morgan Chase & Co. • Shutts Orlando Regional Realtor® Association • Universal Orlando Resort • Valencia College • ZRS Management • SUBU • Wayne Densch Charities

Download the 2021 Annual Report