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The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast

The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast is Athens, Georgia’s premier celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. The breakfast is an annual partnership between The University of Georgia, Athens – Clarke County Unified Government, and the Clarke County School District. The breakfast brings together approximately 600 individuals from The University of Georgia and Clarke County communities and is also used as a time to acknowledge the diversity achievements and contributions of members of the Athens-Clarke County/UGA community.

Previous Freedom Breakfast themes have included:

  • "The Power of the Dream: Inspiring a Nation from the Pulpit" (2017)
  • “The Power of the Dream: One Step at a Time” (2016)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Justice For All” (2015)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Our Unmeasured Strength and Our Unbounded Spirit” (2014)
  • “The Power of the Dream: A Man, A Speech, And A Vision For Positive Change” (2013)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Moving Forward with a shared vision” (2012)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Celebrating courage” (2011)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Where Do We Go From Here?” (2010)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Becoming an Agent for Change” (2009)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Transforming One Life at a Time” (2008)
  • “The Power of the Dream: Connecting Lives Through Unity” (2007)
  • No theme from 2004 – 2006

Each year at the breakfast, recipients of the UGA President’s “Fulfilling the Dream Award” are recognized. These awards highlight the work of those in the local area who have made significant effort to build bridges of unity and understanding as they strive to make Dr. King’s dream of equality and justice, a reality.

Past Recipients

2017 Recipients 

  • Ms. Elizabeth Louis
  • Dr. Barbara McCaskill
  • Mr. Fred O. Smith & Mrs. Lee Zimmerman Smith

2016 Recipients 

  • Dr. William Kisaalita
  • Mr. Homer Wilson
  • Mr. Darren Anglin

2015 Recipients

  • Mr. Charles King
  • Mr. Lemuel LaRoche
  • Ms. Joan Prittie
  • Ms. Ericka “Ricky” Roberts

2014 Recipients

  • Mr. Dervin Cunningham
  • Dr. Mark Dawkins
  • Mr. Ernest Hardaway

2013 Recipients

  • Dr. Mark A. Farmer
  • Mr. Stewart Zellars
  • Dr. Walter R. Allen, Sr.

2012 Recipients

  • Dr. Corey W. Johnson
  • Ms. Roberta Gardner
  • Ms. Attawa J. Childers

2011 Recipients

  • Mr. Joshua Delaney
  • Ms. Donna Wilkins
  • Dr. Dawn D. Bennett-Alexander

2010 Recipients

  • Ms. Angela Denise Gay
  • Mr. Willie James
  • Dr. Pamela Kleiber

2009 Recipients

  • Dr. Art Dunning
  • Sheriff Ira Edwards Jr.
  • Mr. Felton L. Hudson
  • Dr. Jenny Penney Oliver

2008 Recipients

  • Mrs. Patricia Clifton
  • Mr. Derrick Floyd
  • Dr. Robert Hill
  • Ms. Esther Sherman

2007 Recipients

  • Dr. Maurice C. Daniels
  • The Honorable Judge Steve C. Jones
  • Dr. Maria Navarro
  • Mr. Karl A. Scott
  • Mr. Harry L. Sims

2006 Recipients

  • Mrs. Christine Harris
  • Rev. Archibald R. Killian
  • Ms. Esperanza Mejia
  • Rev. David Nunnally, Sr.

2005 Recipients

  • Ms. Barbara Thurmond Archibald
  • Dr. Talmadge Guy
  • Sister Margarita Martin

2004 Recipients

  • Dr. David C. Berle
  • Ms. Trudy Bradley
  • Ms. Evelyn C. Neely
  • Dr. Robert A. Pratt

Annually, a keynote speaker shares experiences, thoughts and reflections on the significance of Dr. King’s work in their own life. The speakers have included some of Georgia’s most prominent leaders.

Past Keynote Speakers

  • 2017      Rev. Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 2016      Stacey Y. Abrams, House Minority Leader for Georgia General Assemby, State Representative 89th House District
  • 2015      Andrew Young, U. N. Ambassador
  • 2014      David Scott, Representative – GA, U.S. House of Representatives
  • 2013      Monica Kauffman Pearson, Journalist and Broadcaster
  • 2012      Billye S. Aaron, Civil Rights Activist and Educator
  • 2011      Mary Francis Early, First African-American to earn a degree from The University of Georgia
  • 2010      Thelma W. Moore, Judge, Superior Court   Fulton County, GA
  • 2009      John Lewis, Representative – GA, U.S. House  of Representatives
  • 2008      Hon. Robert Benham, Justice, Supreme Court of Georgia
  • 2007      Evelyn Lowery, Civil Rights Activist
  • 2006      Damon Evans, Athletic Director, University of Georgia
  • 2005      Hon. Patricia Barron, Chief Magistrate Judge, Athens-Clarke County Magistrate Court
  • 2004      Hon. Steve Jones, Superior Court, Western Circuit

The breakfast would not be a success without support from our corporate sponsors. Sponsors have included Georgia Power, At&T, Georgia United Credit Union, St. Mary’s Health Care System, Bank of America, Athens-Clarke County, the Clarke County School District and Kaiser-Permanente.