Thank You to All Who Attended Our 23rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Corporate Breakfast!

The Urban League of West Michigan held the in-person event on Monday January 16, 2023 celebrating and honoring Dr. King! The SOLD-OUT event had over 850 in attendence!

This year we were honored to have Keynote Speaker Dr. Andre Perry, Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, Scholar-in-residence at American University, Columnist for the Hechinger Report, and author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities


Thank you to all who attended the Breakfast as we gathered together for another opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This was our 23rd corporate breakfast celebration of this great man and movement that not only changed civil rights laws for all Americans, but set in motion the drive for human rights reform worldwide.

We celebrate the legacy of service of Dr. King, as we pursue achieving the dream in our homes, our community, and our world. The Urban League of West Michigan is proud to honor Steelcase, Inc., and the Steelcase Foundation as the 2023 Drum Major for Justice Awardees. GRNoir and Mind Boggle-STEM Greenhouse are the outstanding recipients of the 2023 Nolan Groce Business Leadership Awards, respectively. And finally, The Presidential Leadership Award honors individuals for distinguished achievement who have made a significant and lasting impact on improving the lives of others in our community through their professional accomplishments. The award is named in honor of Paul I. Phillips, longtime Executive Director of the Urban League and first Black person to serve on the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board and the first Black Grand Rapids City Commissioner, then known as the City Council. Mr. Phillips was a social and economic justice champion who served this community for nearly 30 years until his death in 1976. We are so proud to honor in his name Rev. Mr. Jerry Bishop.

For over 80 years, the Grand Rapids Urban League—now the Urban League of West Michigan—has partnered with businesses, individuals, and organizations to make West Michigan a better place to live and work. Through your hard work and giving spirit, we have addressed some of the key issues in the greater Grand Rapids community such as homelessness prevention, housing foreclosures, unemployment and under employment, education and health. Although we have made great strides, we still have a long way to go, and together we can continue to make a difference. On this day we reflected upon the past while seeking hope, determination and an opportunity to act upon the promise of the future. We sincerely appreciate your presence! And look foward to celebrating with you again next year! 

For questions, email




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