Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission accepting nominations for 2021 “Living the Dream Awards”


Public invited to nominate award honorees through Monday, Nov. 2, 2020

CHARLESTON, WV – The Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission is seeking nominations of individuals and organizations for the 2021 “Living the Dream Awards.”

Members of the public are invited to nominate candidates for the awards. Completed nomination packets for individuals or organizations must be postmarked by Monday, Nov. 2, 2020, before 5 p.m. The awards will be presented during the Martin Luther King Day celebration event on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021. 

“The example set by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continues to inspire us to action,” said Jill Upson, commission chair and executive director of the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs (HHOMA). “Those who follow his example by using their time, talent, and resources for the benefit of others deserve to be honored.” 

Click here to download the nomination form

Since its inception in 1986, the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission has recognized individuals and organizations across West Virginia through its “Living the Dream Awards.” These awards were developed to honor West Virginians who live by the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and who continue his work today.

Five awards are given to individuals who best exemplify – through action or personal traits – the principles and ideals characterizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his pursuit of social change. Any person, regardless of race, color, or creed may be nominated. 

The award categories are:

The Advocate of Peace Award
This award honors a person who has been an advocate of social change in a non-violent way.

The Sharing of Self Award
This award recognizes a person who has rendered service to others in the public or private sector.

The Human and Civil Rights Award
This award recognizes a person who has been actively involved in the pursuit of equality for others and is an advocate for social change.

The Scholarship Award
This award honors a person who has made significant contributions in the area of education.

The Governor’s Living the Dream Award
This award is the highest honor that is presented to an individual by the Martin Luther King Jr. State Holiday Commission. This award is approved by the Governor of West Virginia and is given to a person who best exemplifies all the characteristics of justice, scholarship, sharing of self, human and civil rights, and advocacy of peace. The recipient must have a recognizable sense of civic awareness and public service.

In addition to the individual awards, qualified organizations that have demonstrated one or more of the following principles may also be honored: the promotion of human and civil rights, providing assistance to under-served communities, the promotion of tolerance, and resolving conflict in a non-violent manner. Annually, the commission recognizes up to three service organizations across West Virginia for placement on the Living the Dream Service Organization Honor Roll.

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