Watch the awards here:

NJPAC and the Newark Branch of the NAACP salute the spirit of the nation’s most beloved civil rights leader at the Arts Center’s 24th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 6PM. The event will be streamed live on NJPAC’s Facebook page.

Every year at this ceremony, two individuals from Newark who have made substantial contributions to the African American community are recognized for their service and their devotion to the ideals of social justice embraced by Dr. King.

This year,  A’Dorian Murray-Thomas will receive the Visionary of the Dream Award for her service on the Newark Public School Board (to which she was elected 2019 when she was only 23 years old) and for her work in founding SHE Wins Inc., a leadership and social action organization for middle and high school girls in Newark.

Senator Ronald L. Rice will receive the Steward of the Dream Award, in recognition of his decades of service as a member of the New Jersey State Senate, where he represents Newark and surrounding towns.

In addition, Khalil Gibran Muhammad, professor of History, Race and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School, and the Suzanne Young Murray Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies, will give the ceremony’s keynote address. Professor Muhammad directs the Institutional Antiracism and Accountability Project and is the former Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a division of the New York Public Library and the world’s leading library and archive of global black history.

Rick Thigpen, Senior Vice President, Corporate Citizenship at PSEG and the chair of the PSEG Foundation, will provide opening remarks, and students in NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz For Teens and other arts education programs will perform during the celebration.

Both NJPAC and the Newark Branch of the NAACP are proud to host this annual celebration and to recognize the leaders in our community who exemplify the ideals and principles espoused by Dr. King.