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The Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Breakfast


Click to watch the 2023 MLK Freedom Breakfast


About the Annual 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: Building a Legacy for Generations" (2024)
    • "The Power of the Dream: Growing Together" (2023)
    • "The Power of the Dream: Footsteps of Courage" (2022)
    • "The Power of the Dream: Forging a Path Forward" (2021)
    • “The Power of the Dream: Freedom and Justice for All” (2020)
    • "The Power of the Dream: Building the Beloved Community" (2019)
    • "Pressing Toward the Promise" (2018)
    • "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)

The President's Fulfilling the Dream Award Recipients:


  • Brian Leffler
  • Caleb Snead
  • Terris Thomas


  • Jason Edwards
  • Jaquarius Raglin
  • Laura Whitaker


  • Rosa Arroyo Driggers
  • Rick Dunn
  • Carl Miller
  • Kevin Nwogu
  • Henry Young


  • Tony Lowe
  • Charlie Maddox
  • Narke Norton
  • Jalen Polk
  • Ashley Love


  • Marques Dexter
  • Cesar L. Escalante
  • Caleb Kelly
  • Sherontae Maxwell
  • Marvin J. Nunnally Jr.


  • Dr. K. Paige Carmichael
  • Charlene Marsh
  • Michele Pearson


  • Gregory L. Roseboro
  • Rev.. Dr. Winfred M.. Hope
  • O. Natalie Morean


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


  • 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

2024 T. Dallas Smith, Founder & CEO of T. Dallas Smith & Company (TDS&Co)
2023 Arthur L. Tripp, Jr., State Executive Director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Georgia
2022 Dr. Arthur Dunning, former President of Albany State Univeristy and author
2021 Hamilton Holmes Jr., son of Hamilton Holmes Sr.
2020 Honorable Steve C. Jones, U.S. District Judge
2019 Tiffany Cochran Edwards, The Cochran Firm
2018 Cheryl Davenport Dozier, President, Savannah State University
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 AT&T, Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, Athens-Clarke County, Bank of America,  Clarke County School District, Georgia Power, Georgia United Credit Union, Kaiser-Permanente, Piedmont Athens Regional, Public Education Matters Georgia, and St. Mary’s Health Care System.