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Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Let Freedom Ring!

The Let Freedom Ring Celebration at the Kennedy Center

2014 Celebration Honors Local Leader Lecester Johnson

Georgetown University’s annual Let Freedom Ring Initiative honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., through a series of academic, artistic and extracurricular programs that examine King’s life and work.  All are invited to participate in these events.

At this year's Let Freedom Ring Celebration, The John Thompson, Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award was presented to Lecester Johnson, executive director of the Academy of Hope, an organization that provides basic education and adult literacy services to women and men, age 18 and up. The academy also prepares individuals for the GED and transition into post-secondary education.

Grammy Award winner Dionne Warwick performed a musical tribute honoring Martin Luther King, Jr., with the Let Freedom Ring Choir led by Rev. Nolan Williams, Jr.  Just last fall, Warwick celebrated her five decades as a performer by releasing the album, Now. To watch a video of the January 20th performance, please click here.

To read more about this year's celebration week, please click here.

To read more about this year's awardee, please click here.

To read more about this year's performer, please click here.

2014 Celebration Theme

This year, our Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative activities shone a special spotlight on the iconic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The March, which marked its 50th anniversary in August 2013, remains one of the largest rallies for human rights in United States history. Georgetown has paid homage to this during the year through various performances and activities. Throughout January, a number of Georgetown professors also participated in our Teach the March Initiative, through which they incorporated the March on Washington into their classroom curricula.

Panel: Georgetown and the March

During the 2014 celebration week of the Georgetown University Let Freedom Ring Initiative, members of the Georgetown community shared their experiences from the March on Washington and their personal interactions with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) offered special introductory remarks, while Prof. Richard America, Rev. Raymond Kemp, SJ, Prof. Deborah Tannen, and Rabbi Harold White shared reflections during a panel discussion.

Legacy of a Dream Award

Each year during the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration week, the University presents The John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award to an individual or organization whose contributions to community service or social justice reflect the values and ideals of Dr. King.

Past Recipients

2014 - Lecester Johnson, Academy of Hope

2013 - Mary Brown, Life Pieces to Masterpieces

2012 - Professor Clarence Jones

2011 - Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery

2010 - Dikembe Mutombo, Dikembe Mutombo Foundation, Inc.

2009 - Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund

2008 - Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)

2007 - Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS

2006 - Mrs. Rosa Parks (posthumous)

2005 - Colin and Alma Powell

2004 - William H. Gray III, president and CEO, UNCF

2003 - Coach John Thompson, Georgetown University Men's Basketball (1972-1999)


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