News & Events

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Martin Luther King Breakfast 2017

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Martin Luther King Breakfast 2017

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“LOVE is the only forcecapable of transforming an enemy into friend.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

THANK YOU TO ALL THAT ATTENDED OUR EVENT! 

The 17th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Corporate Breakfast was a SOLD OUT event with a record breaking attendance of 855 guests! Watch the video clips below for highlights from this amazing event! Thank you to all!

 

Employment/Economy
“Capitalism fails to realize that life is social.  Communism fails to realize that life is personal. The good and just society is … a socially conscious democracy which reconciles the truths of individualism and collectivism.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
 

Remarks by Mr. John Kennedy, President and CEO, Autocam Medical:


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Housing/Community Development
“We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
 

Remarks by Mr. Darel Ross II, Co-Executive Director, LINC UP:


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Education
“I said to my children, 'I'm going to work and do everything that I can do to see that you get a good education. I don't ever want you to forget that there are millions of God's children who will not and cannot get a good education, and I don't want you feeling that you are better than they are. For you will never be what you ought to be until they are what they ought to be.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

Remarks by Dr. Susan Gunn, Dean, College of Urban Education, Davenport University:


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Health
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
 

Remarks by Ms. Joan Budden, President and CEO, Priority Health:


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Racial Equity
“There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society with a large segment of people in that society who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

Remarks by Ms. Nadia Brigham, Program Officer, Racial Equity, W.K. Kellogg Foundation:


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Reach Out and Touch Somebody's Hand


Performed by Lisa Butler, Michelle Covington, Nubia Gomez, Merrin Bethel, Tarita Dooley, Ja Leeyna Dooley, Jessica Doyle Mekkes, Elle Frances, Brandon Harris, and Deb Alexander


CONGRATS TO ALL OUR AWARDEES!

2017 Nolan Groce Business Leadership Award:
Mr. Todd Cross, Owner, Cross Contracting
and
Mrs. Crystal Hardley, Funeral Director, Crystal Funeral Services

 


2017 Paul I. Phillips Presidential Legacy Award: 
Mr. Michael Price, Chairman, Mercantile Bank Corporation
and
Ms. Arnie Smith Alexander, GVSU College of Education

 


2017 Drum Major for Justice Award: 
Rockford Construction, Mr. Mike VanGessel, President and CEO

 

Thank you to the speakers of our fireside chat:

Mr. John Kennedy,  President and CEO, Autocam Medical
Mr. Darel Ross II, Co-Executive Director, LINC UP
Dr. Susan Gunn, Dean, College of Urban Education, Davenport University
Ms. Joan Budden, President and CEO, Priority Health
Ms. Nadia Brigham, Program Officer, Racial Equity, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

 

Thank you to the events amazing performers:

John Gist and The Band, A League of Their Own

and singers:

Michelle Covington, Nubia Gomez, Merrin Bethel, Tarita Dooley, Ja Leeyna Dooley, Jessica Doyle Mekkes, Elle Frances, Brandon Harris, Deb Alexander, and Lisa Butler

 

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Title Sponsor: Steelcase

PLATINUM:
Meijer, Inc.
Spectrum Health/Priority Health

 

GOLD:

Bethany Christian Services
Chemical Bank

Fifth Third Bank
Heritage Vision Plans
Mercantile Bank
Miller Johnson
Rockford Construction

SILVER:

Autocam Medical
Believe 2 Become
Blue Cross/Blue Shieldof Michigan
Cascade Engineering
Comerica
Consumers Energy
Gatherings of Hope
Grand Valley State University
Horizon Bank
Kent County Convention Arena Authority – CIG
Kent County Land Bank Authority
OST
Roman Manufacturing
Smith, Haughey, Rice & Roegge
SpartanNash
Swift Printing
Warner, Norcross and Judd

BRONZE:

Barnes and Thornburg
Consumers Credit Union
Crowe Horwath
Dickinson-Wright
Frey Foundation
Goodwill Industries
Hope Network
Kent County GOP
Mercy Health – Saint Mary’s
MSU College of Human Medicine
New Hope Baptist Church
Pioneer Construction, Inc.
Plymouth Church
PNC Bank
Varnum

ANGEL:

ACSET
Blythfield Hills Baptist Church
Brown Hutcherson Ministries
Buist Electric
Calvin College
Cherry Health
City of Grand Rapids
DGRI
Diocese of Grand Rapids
Dominican Sisters – Grand Rapids
Ferris State University
Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids Public Schools
ICC
FInclusive Performance Strategies
Irwin Seating
Kids Food Basket/HQ
Kingdom Life Church
Network 180
Orion Construction
Pepsi Beverages Company
Rehmann/Grand Rapids Civic Theater
Rhodes McKee
SIBSCO
Spectrum Health Affinity Group
Urban Core Collective
Wege Foundation

 

A Letter from Joe about the event:

Colleagues:

I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your effort at the MLK Breakfast. That was quite the undertaking and let me tell you that people are still talking about it, both in person and on social media. We have been given an incredible opportunity over the years to set the tone for the day for many people and I don’t take that lightly. People left inspired, some left accepting the challenge set forth, and more than a few were rather emotional after participating in that splendid rendition sung by Lisa & the ladies. It was an absolutely amazing event that did that it was purposed to do. I know already that the wall is indeed coming down next year and that we will more than surpass the 1000 person mark. But that’s what the movement does, it works to removes walls/barriers and it increases the level of participation for those who desire to engage in authentically changing our community for the better. Our job is to lead and to do so by example. So, 2017 is about going in and going hard. It ought to be our motto as we go forward. I’ll go ahead and do the honors of taking the hashtag #goinandgohard.


Much love,
Joe

Joseph Jones,
President/CEO
Grand Rapids Urban League

 

 

 

 

 

745 Eastern Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503, 616-245-2207