January 6, 2003

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Martin Luther King Celebration Featuring Danny Glover 

In what has become a much-anticipated annual tradition, Johns Hopkins Medicine will remember and honor civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with tributes, music and community service awards during this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration. The celebration will take place Friday, Jan. 10 in Turner Auditorium from noon to 1:30 p.m. Headlining the annual tribute is keynote speaker Danny Glover, human rights activist, actor, director and executive producer whose portrayals have earned worldwide acclaim.

Renowned recording artist Harry Belafonte, a former keynote speaker of the event, will receive the MLK Ideals Award in recognition of his outstanding service and commitment to civil rights programs and principles.

"It is with great pride that we honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.," said Levi Watkins, M.D., associate dean for postdoctoral programs at the School of Medicine and a professor of cardiac surgery. "Dr. King proved that there are indeed no boundaries for all men and women who are dedicated to moving forward; Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover continue that legacy."

Eight employees, four from Hopkins Hospital and four from the School of Medicine, will receive the institutions' Martin Luther King Award for Community Service in recognition of their volunteer work with their community during 2002. (A complete list of winners with a description of their contributions is attached.)

Glover has extended his tenure as goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program in response to the AIDS crisis in Africa, and in 2001 became chairman of the board of TransAfrica Forum, the African-American lobbying organization on Africa and the Caribbean. In addition to the "Lethal Weapon" movies, Glover's screen credits include HBO's "American Dream" series for Black History Month, "Buffalo Soldier," the story of America's first all-Black cavalry unit, and "Courage" a weekly Fox Family Channel series that TV Guide named as one of the top 10 inspirational shows on television in 2000.

Watkins again presides as master of ceremonies. The Hopkins musical group Unified Voices, a chorus of Hopkins employees and community members, will provide musical entertainment during the commemoration.

Other distinguished speakers at this annual event have included Coretta Scott King, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Rosa Parks, Dick Gregory, Andrew Young, Stevie Wonder, Kweisi Mfume, Julian Bond, Maya Angelou, Taylor Branch and Hopkins surgeons Ben Carson and Watkins.

Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award

Barbara Abdullah
Community Outreach Coordinator with Community Programs and Research
Department of Oncology
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Barbara Abdullah has earned kudos from the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Morgan State University and the American Cancer Society for her active involvement to raise funds and awareness about the early detection and treatment of breast cancer. A breast cancer survivor, Abdullah is the past vice president of Sisters Surviving, a non-profit organization that offers support to those who have been diagnosed and those who have lost loved ones to the disease. Abdullah also has cared for 15 foster children since 1985, many of whom are special-needs youngsters who have had AIDS or attention deficit disorder.

Gregory A. Fuller
Research and Writing Assistant, Department of Psychiatry
Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine
As a senior at Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Gregory Fuller was instrumental in the creation of the American Red Cross Corps of JHU and continues to orchestrate volunteer opportunities for the 200 or so students he recruited on both the East Baltimore and Homewood campuses. Volunteers have been trained to handle disasters and increase blood drive participation, and are briefed on the availability of community and international services. Fuller created a brochure and Web site highlighting these activities and established Hopkins Disaster Action Team to respond to catastrophic apartment fires.

Amir A. Ghaferi
Medical Student
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
As an undergraduate at UCLA, Amir Ghaferi traveled to the Mexican border to volunteer at free pediatric clinics. When he arrived in Baltimore nearly two years ago, he focused his volunteer efforts on revitalizing youth sport programs at the Chick Webb Memorial Recreation Center. Once the recreational programs were resumed, Ghaferi began a tutoring program at the center for mostly elementary and middle school students. Now, 30 volunteers are helping children of all ages improve their schoolwork. Ghaferi also oversees the Dunbar/Hopkins mentoring program, which recruits School of Medicine students to mentor sophomores and juniors at nearby Dunbar High School who are interested in health care-related careers.

Karen D. Kemp
Violence Prevention Coordinator
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, Inc.
The work Karen D. Kemp does at Hopkins is routinely carried over into her own personal time. Having trained hundreds of social services providers on how to respond to domestic violence, she also volunteers weekly for the House of Ruth's 24-hour hotline. Familiar with the healing role of music and drama for teens traumatized by violence, Kemp developed the Nu World Art Ensemble, an after-school and summer program. The incorporated group, which has performed locally and nationally, uses theater arts, music, dance and script writing to help youths grapple with dating, domestic and youth violence and related issues.

John V. Matthew
Medical Technical Specialist, Department of Pathology
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
John Matthew's volunteer reach first embraced Baltimore youth through sports and recreational activities, then crossed two oceans as he sent clothing to the needy in his native India. As a fund-raiser and soccer coach, Matthew draws kids from around the region to participate in a week-long summer tournament at Polytechnic High School. His efforts on behalf of children also take him to Evershine Inc., a Baltimore-based assisted living home for children whom he often accompanies on field trips. His used clothing drive led to the creation of a non-profit agency, Kairali of Baltimore. Working with the Indian immigrant community, Matthew led a group of 45 Kairali volunteers to work on a Habitat for Humanity project and raised money to help Indian communities damaged by earthquakes and tornados.

Aaron McCown
Inventory Management Clerk, Materials Management
Johns Hopkins Health System
Using balls, nets, goal posts and green fields, Aaron McCown has become a male role model for children whose lives are usually without one. For five years, he has coached and mentored children ages 9 to 11 on his basketball and football teams. His sideline instructions give McCown the opportunity to teach his players about respect and teamwork. Off the field, he stresses the importance of school and offers support to youngsters facing difficult times.

Diane W. Moses
Addiction Therapist, Department of Psychiatry
First Step Day Hospital
For more than 20 years, Diane W. Moses' compassion for those fighting drug addiction has stayed with her even after she leaves work. Moses advocates not only for addicts, but also for family members hurt by the cycle of violence that addiction fosters. For years, she has helped teenage girls of addicted parents to develop and pursue their ambitions. In her quest to help the youngest victims of drug use, she spearheaded a fund-raiser to purchase equipment and clothing for a youth football team. She also served on the board of directors for the Oasis/Eutaw Center, a homeless shelter for men.

Jeff P. Natterman
Respiratory Care Manager, Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Determined to reach out to the community surrounding the hospital, Jeff Natterman has been the prime mover in his department's involvement with a local public school. First, he organized a fund-raiser to benefit Tench Tilghman Elementary School's reading program two years ago. Then he returned to coordinate the school's anti-smoking poster campaign, a project being used to demonstrate to children the hazards associated with smoking. The posters also have been displayed in the hospital's Respiratory Care Services/Environmental area.




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