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Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

                                                   - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Nominations Open for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Awards


The City of Tacoma’s Events and Recognitions Committee (CERC) is now accepting nominations for the Lifetime Service Award and the Emerging Leader Award for individuals or groups to be honored for their community service at the 35th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024. The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. Find the nomination application here.


Honorees include individuals, groups, or organizations that have demonstrated a meaningful contribution to serving the community through human rights efforts, commitment to education or sharing of their skills, and those that embody the legacy of Dr. King’s teachings and actions, to represent people of all color in the pursuit of hope, healing, and sustainable peace.


“By recognizing the important contributions from these community members and their leadership in transforming Tacoma, we honor Dr. King’s legacy each year,” said Mayor Victoria Woodards. “Their work and the uplifting cultural celebration for Dr. King inspires us all as we continue to heal the heart of Tacoma.”


The CERC selects the honorees to receive awards and oversees the annual production of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration. The event will be held at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center, located at 1500 Commerce Street.


“The City’s Events and Recognitions Committee is excited to honor our community by celebrating its rich diversity, artistic talents, and unwavering strength. Let us come together to build a brighter future for Tacoma, while simultaneously honoring the legacy of our community. With arts, culture, and conversations of unity, we can create a strong foundation that will inspire generations to come,” said CERC Chair Jessica Johnston.


Nominations can be made online here.


Watch the 2023 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award Celebration



Past Recipients of the MLK Community Service Awards 

View a list of prior years' recipients. 


Interest in serving on a Tacoma committee, board or commission? Go to www.cityoftacoma.org/servetacoma


Event Details

January 15, 2023

Time TBA

Greater Tacoma Convention Center (1500 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402)


Street parking is free, including the Convention Center parking garage.

Watch the event on TV Tacoma or streamed live on tvtacoma.com or Facebook. It will be televised throughout January 2024 on TV Tacoma.


Contact Information

Ashley Young
(253) 573-2523