Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Luncheon 2010

Keynote Speaker: Benjamin Carson, M.D.

Benjamin Carson

Our 2010 luncheon keynote speaker is Benjamin Carson, M.D., a renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, inspirational storyteller, and Detroit native.

Some career highlights include the first and only successful separation of Siamese twins joined at the back of the head in 1987 and the first completely successful separation of type-2 vertical Siamese twins in 1997 in South Africa.  Today he is a full professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

A recipient of numerous accolades, Carson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by the President, which is the highest civilian honor, in 2008, and was recognized by U.S. News & World Report and Harvard University's Center for Public Leadership as one of "America's Best Leaders."

In 2009, the movie Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, starring Oscar winner Cuba Gooding, Jr., premiered on TNT and is based on his memoir.

Click here for more information on Benjamin Carson, M.D., and to learn about his Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments.

Net proceeds benefit Adopt-a-Classroom

Net proceeds from the luncheon will support Adopt-a-Classroom. Last year WSU donated $10,000 to Adopt-a-Classroom. Adopt-a-Classroom is a nationally recognized organization that invites the community into classrooms to increase opportunity for student success by empowering teachers with community partnerships and funds to purchase resources for their classrooms. Wayne State University will form relationships with specific classrooms in our community and provide financial and moral support. We believe our efforts will result in a meaningful contribution to K-12 education in Detroit. Click here to see the classrooms we've helped.

Community Leadership Awards

The Office of Government and Community Affairs is proud to announce the 2010 Community Leadership Awards. The purpose of these awards is to honor an individual and an organization whose contributions affect our community in a positive way. We will present the winners of the Community Leadership Awards at the Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Luncheon at the Max M. Fisher Music Center on January 19, 2010.

2010 Community Leadership Award Winners

  • Crossroads of Michigan

Crossroads of Michigan is a social service outreach agency with two locations in Detroit. Founded in 1971, Crossroads exists to support the community at large by providing emergency assistance, advocacy, and counseling to anyone in need. Crossroads cares for any person in need by providing counseling, advocacy, and material assistance when possible and appropriate, and responding to other human needs in the community as they are able to do so.

  • Tyree Guyton

Primarily a painter and sculptor, Tyree Guyton has also been described as an urban environmental artist. He has waged a personal war on urban blight on Detroit's East Side, transforming his neighborhood into a living indoor/outdoor art gallery. Guyton founded and created the Heidelberg Project, an open-air art environment in the heart of Detroit's East Side. Guyton uses everyday discarded objects to create a two-block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue. Now in its 23rd year, the Heidelberg Project is recognized around the world as a demonstration of the power of creativity to transform lives.

InsideOut's Citywide Poets to perform

InsideOut's Citywide Poets is an intensive after-school program for aspiring high school poets. Last year, three young poets received a standing ovation as they performed their extraordinary poem crafted especially for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute program (see video to the left). The Citywide Poets have won numerous awards and recently received the prestigious Coming Up Taller Award given by the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities. The award was presented to them by First Lady Michelle Obama at The White House this past November. We are honored that they have accepted the invitation to once again perform at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute program.