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Page last updated on January 21, 2020 at 9:36 am

Welcome on behalf of the City of Bloomington to our celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.!  Thank you for being here tonight for this powerful gathering, a chance to show up as a community to honor Dr. King, reflect on his vision, and renew our commitment to fulfilling his ideals.  

Welcome to all our elected officials joining us, to the MLK Commissioners, to [IU Provost Lauren Robel, Ivy Tech Chancellor Jennie Vaughan; MCCSC Super. Judy Demuth?? ] to Doug Bauder, the founding director of IU’s LGBTQ Culture Center, and Co-Director of Bloomington United, who will be offering tonight’s closing remarks.  I’d also like to acknowledge all the volunteers and organizations in our community who are carrying Dr. King’s legacy forward with their service on this Day On! Not a Day Off! I’m honored, humbled, and energized to be here with all the hard-working, deeply caring people in this room who are tending to Dr. King’s dream every day by embracing, lifting up, and being there for everyone in our community. 

And I want to extend a warm Bloomington welcome to our keynote speaker, Keynoter Dr. Melina Abdullah, Professor and Chair of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, who will keynote tonight’s gathering. [on “Courage and Beautiful Struggle: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with Our Work.”] We are looking forward to the wisdom you will share with us tonight.

And thanks again to the Indiana University African American Choral Ensemble, directed by Dr. Raymond Wise, the Fairview Elementary School Choir, the Jacobs School of Music Ballet Department, and the Highland Elementary School students who welcomed us with song at the front door. We are so blessed to live in this talented, creative community!

Tonight’s celebration and all the related activities would not have been possible without the efforts of the City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department. Thank you to Beverly Calender-Anderson, Michael Shermis, and all the CFRD staff and interns. 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived with us on this earth for 39 years. He graduated from college at age 19, earned a doctoral degree, became a minister, and in 13 years from 1955 to 1968 he changed our country and our world forever. He has been gone from us, after his murder, for nearly 52 years now.  But this day, this holiday, helps remind us that he is not really gone, he is still with us, his legacy, the ripples of his humanity, the echoes of his words, the reverberations of his actions, continue today. And we need those echoes and ripples and reverberations and that legacy as much today as ever. We need the still-spreading ripples from his unwavering commitment to love and nonviolence. We need the still-sounding echoes of so many inspiring words, like “true peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice.” We need the still-ringing reverberations of his brave confrontations with power and oppression in marching for voters in Selma, for housing in Chicago, for janitors in Memphis. We need the legacy of Brother Martin today and tomorrow, to help our community continue to overcome our history, to help our community move toward that beloved community, toward the more perfect union. I want to thank all those individuals and organizations who work so hard every day to amplify those ripples and echoes and reverberations, and to realize that legacy. We need you too.

One of those persons that has been amplifying and realizing we honor tonight, with the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award. Presented by the City of Bloomington's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission, this annual award recognizes and affirms those who have made significant contributions in the areas of race relations, justice, and human rights.

This year’s honoree has spent nearly 50 years making tangible and meaningful contributions to the advancement of race relations, justice, and human rights causes. Through decades of service at Indiana University, our honoree’s focus was helping students and making both campus and community more equitable. He served on the IU MLK Committee for years, frequently chairing the Building Bridges Awards selection committee. 

In the community, our award winner has been an integral member and officer in many groups, including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission and the Commission on the Status of Black Males. He has been active in other civic organizations, including the Monroe County Branch NAACP and has served multiple times as President of the Exchange Club of Northside Bloomington and as Indiana District Director of Exchange Clubs. He also has been a longtime member of ad hoc groups, including Bloomington United and the Noah’s Ark 2 Interfaith Initiative, among others.

Our honoree helped directly shape the activities of the City of Bloomington Commission on the Status of Black Males, with major roles in implementing several Commission initiatives, including the community health screenings the Commission has organized and the creation of Outstanding Black Leader of Tomorrow Awards the Commission presents annually during Black History Month. He served in a similar role on the MLK Commission, helping the Commission evaluate its goals each year while often acting as emcee at MLK Birthday Celebrations, representing the interests of the Commission in meetings with MCCSC officials and other community groups, and acting as liaison between the MLK Commission and IU MLK Committee.

Our honoree’s actions serve as an example of what it means to make tangible and meaningful contributions. For his commitment to community engagement, he has received numerous awards, including the City’s Living Legend Award, IU’s Lifetime Achievement and Building Bridges Awards, and a Certificate of Excellence at the National Exchange Clubs Leadership Conference. Most recently, he was honored with the Indiana University Distinguished Inclusive Excellence Award. After working 48 years at Indiana University, our honoree recently retired from the position of  Director of Community & Student Engagement in the Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs.

His contributions to race relations, justice, and human rights and his impact on the community are legendary and ongoing. For living a life committed to justice, full of passion for serving others and for deep community involvement, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Commission is proud to present the 2020 MLK Legacy Award to . . . David Hummons. [Please come forward David, to receive your award….],

David, in presenting this award, I would like to offer these warm wishes from your sister, Patty Powell, from Denver, Colorado, who regrets not being able to be here.


Patty says, 

“To David--Our Big Brother, Brother-in-Law and Uncle:

Sorry we couldn't be in Bloomington for this wonderful occasion, but we want to send our heartfelt congratulations to you on receiving the MLK Award.  You have spent so many years serving your community, championing social justice causes and helping others succeed. How fitting that you should be honored for living the legacy of Dr. King.  Enjoy this moment, and know that we couldn't be more proud of you!

With love,

Patty, Dave, Erin and Kara.”


Congratulations, David, from all of us at the City and in the community!