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Urban League of HR Hosts 40th Annual MLK Jr. Breakfast

“The Urban League of Hampton Roads is set to host the 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Breakfast, recognizing leaders making significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community. Award recipients across various categories, including health, education, and economic development, will be honored. The event, presented by Dollar Tree, features acclaimed writer Clint Smith as the Keynote Speaker and April Woodard as the emcee. Tickets and sponsorships are available online, contributing to the transformation of communities across Hampton Roads.”
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The Urban League of Hampton Roads will present eight awards during its 40th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Breakfast. The event will be held on Monday, January 15, 2024, at 8 a.m. at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. Presented by Dollar Tree, this year’s in-person breakfast will honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and recognize dedicated leaders who make significant contributions to the Hampton Roads community.

“The Urban League of Hampton Roads is honored to recognize leaders who contribute in such meaningful ways to our community,” said Gilbert Bland, President and CEO of the Urban League of Hampton Roads.


“These dedicated individuals embody the spirit and values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and we are excited to celebrate their achievements.”

The MLK 2024 Award Recipients are:

  • Health – Charlie Hill, Hampton Roads Prostate Forum

  • Education – Peter Blake, Retiring Executive Director of State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV)

  • Economic Development – Harry Lester, Community Leader

  • Finance – Alexis Swann, Peninsula President, TowneBank

  • Housing – Norfolk Redevelopment Housing Authority (NRHA)

  • ULHR Lifetime Achievement Award – Governor Douglas Wilder

  • Young Professional Member of the Year – Nykita Doggette

  • Guild Member of the Year – Lisa Wise Chapman


The Keynote Speaker for the event is the acclaimed writer Clint Smith.



Clint Smith is a staff writer for The Atlantic and #1 New York Times bestselling author of How the Word Is Passed. Observers claim Smith is revolutionizing how we understand the history of our country, the physical places where we live, and the stories we tell about the world around us. Through his vital writing and talks, he argues that understanding our history not only enables us to understand our world, but also empowers us to fight for racial justice.


April Woodard, Emmy nominated Co-Host of Coast Live, a daily lifestyle show on WTKR in Norfolk, will serve as the event emcee.


Tickets are available online at Businesses and individuals interested in sponsoring the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders Awards can visit for more information or contact Ms. Patricia Gibson, Director of Employment and Corporate Partnerships at

Sponsorships of the Urban League help to transform communities across Hampton Roads by creating the social and economic opportunities that change lives.

For more information, or to become a member of the Urban League, visit |

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