Seven civic leaders and educators who best emulate the spirit and mission of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will receive awards Jan. 18 at the 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast at Anne Arundel Community College. This year’s theme, “In the Face of Adversity, We March On,” is highlighted by having nationally known speaker, writer and activist Kevin Powell as the guest speaker.
Tickets are still available. Doors open for the event at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast served at 8 a.m. in the David S. Jenkins Gymnasium on the AACC Arnold campus, 101 College Parkway. Participants are asked to donate canned goods for the Anne Arundel County Food Bank as part of a food drive sponsored by breakfast co-sponsors, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
The award recipients are:
Jacqueline Boone Allsup of Glen Burnie, given the 2016 George H. Phelps Jr. Distinguished Public Service Award presented by the NAACP. Boone has been both an educator and a community leader. She worked for 30 years for the state of Maryland as an evening hospital supervisor and for 12 years as a nursing instructor at AACC, retiring last year as an associate professor. In the community, she was an advocate for social justice and civil rights and served three terms as president of the county chapter of the NAACP. She is a graduate of Leadership Anne Arundel.
Annapolis City Alderman Joe Budge, Annapolis City Council Ward 1 and Jacquelyn Vivian Wells of Annapolis, commissioner of the Annapolis Housing Authority, both receiving the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award from the Anne Arundel Coalition of Tenants. Budge is being honored for his civic work in Annapolis since his retirement as a successful computer software executive. He has served on several city committees and represented Ward One on the 2009 Comprehensive Plan, the West Street Vision and City Dock committees. Budge was president of the Ward One Residents Association for two years before being elected as the City of Annapolis’ alderman for Ward One in 2013.
Wells has been in public service most of her professional life, working for both the Anne Arundel County Public Schools and the Department of Social Services Child Protective Services Unit. She now is a greeting card sales associate in downtown Annapolis. Wells is being honored for her work to enrich the lives of residents living in Annapolis public housing. She is a member of the Annapolis Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. She is president of the Resident Council at Bloomsbury Square, where she lives, and acting vice president of the Resident Advisory Board. She also is on the executive board of the Ward One Residents Association.
Maxwell David Ochs of Severna Park, given the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award presented by the Human Relations Commission, City of Annapolis. Many may recognize Ochs from seeing him perform as a poet or musician or as master of ceremonies for coffeehouses or concerts. Ochs is being honored for his service in the public sector for more than 20 years. At the Community Action Agency of Anne Arundel County, he helped weatherize homes, counseled people on housing issues and was inducted into the CAA’s Hall of Fame. He also has been active in the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center, where he was co-executive director for three years and still teaches courses on conflict resolution in the workplace. He recently published a book of poetry, “Just Caws,” and has performed for a variety of audiences, including children in the Woodside Garden Homework Haven, senior citizens, Light House Shelter residents and at benefit concerts for Anne Arundel Peace Action.
The Rev. Johnny R. Calhoun of Annapolis, pastor, Mt. Olive AME Church in Annapolis, the 2016 Leon H. White Clergy Memorial Award presented by the United Christian Clergy Alliance of Anne Arundel County. The Rev. Calhoun is being honored for leading the Mount Olive A.M.E. Church in community outreach and development. Since he was appointed its pastor in June 1999, the membership significantly increased, its physical plant and property expanded and a community development corporation was established to position the church to obtain funding to support its ministry outreach and support of the community. One of the highlights has been the building of a community life center used to provide community space, an entrepreneurial institute, job training, an afterschool program, senior care and several youth programs. Calhoun earned a degree in accounting and worked for several Fortune 500 companies. He earned a master’s degree in Theology from St. Mary’s Seminary and pursued a doctorate in Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary. He entered the ministry in May 1982 as a church administrator and served in three pastoral appointments before leaving the corporate world permanently and beginning a full-time ministry in 1992 as pastor of St. Stephen AME Church in Wilmington, N.C.
Jackie Skarr of Davidsonville, presented the 2016 Dallas G. Pace Humanitarian Award by the Anne Arundel County Human Relations Commission. Skarr was a registered nurse and then a nurse educator, and after taking some years off to raise her children, she returned to the nursing field as a long-term care nurse. There, she became familiar with Medicare and Medicaid requirements and she has used her expertise as a volunteer in the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). Skarr is being honored for that volunteer work.
Alycia Marshall, Ph.D., department chair and professor of Mathematics, AACC, the 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Zeitgeist Award given by the AACC Black Student Union. Marshall has initiated programs that benefit underserved students, such as women and minorities. One of these is the Engineering Scholars Program at AACC, which matches students interested in the science and math fields with scholarships. She also worked with people in the department to create an accelerated, online math program for students needing more math skills before they can take math for college credit. Other awards include the Verizon Community Innovator Award, one of INSIGHT into Diversity Magazine’s 100 Inspiring Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the National Faculty Role Model Award from Minority Access Inc.
Keynote speaker Powell has written 11 books. His latest book, “The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy’s Journey into Manhood,” is available ahead of time at the AACC Bookstore and at the breakfast, and Powell will sign copies after the breakfast.
Tickets for the breakfast are still available at $35 each or $350 for a table of 10 are available by contacting Eugene Peterson at 301-538-0887 or Erica Matthews at 443-761-9734. Make checks payable to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Committee and mail to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast Committee, Attn: Erica Matthews, P.O. Box 1951, Annapolis, MD 21404.