The Cleveland Orchestra Announces Four Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award Winners

The Cleveland Orchestra announces its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award winners: Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, Margaret Mitchell, Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, and Betty Pinkney. Established to recognize extraordinary contributions by individuals and organizations that have positively impacted Cleveland in the spirit of Dr. King's teachings, the MLK Community Service Awards Selection Committee has chosen to recognize these four women for their outstanding contributions to the Cleveland community.

Two of the awardees - Ms. Pinkney and Rev. Dr. Campbell - were instrumental as early advocates, promoters and enablers of civil rights and social justice during the civil rights movement here in Cleveland. The other two awardees - Congresswoman Fudge and Ms. Mitchell - are working tirelessly for the Cleveland community today to assure that Dr. King's vision for social justice and equality is realized.

The awards were presented on stage at Severance Hall before the Orchestra's sold-out, 40th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Jeffery Weaver, Chair, Cleveland Orchestra Community Engagement Committee, presented the awards onstage with Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell, and Cuyahoga County Concilwoman Yvonne Conwell. A live video stream of the awards and concert is available to view on, or on the Orchestra's Facebook or YouTube, until January 19, 2020.

The concert is sponsored by KeyBank and supported by a grant from the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation.

About the Award Winners

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has served the people of Ohio or over 3 decades as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the Eleventh Congressional District. She serves on a long list of critical House committees and subcommittees, and is past chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Creating jobs, protecting safety net programs, improving access to education, healthcare and more, Congresswoman Fudge is devoted to improving lives.

Margaret Mitchell is President and CEO of YWCA Greater Cleveland. Under her leadership, this 150-year-old social justice organization has been transformed-its financial health improved and its work elevated. As a result, YWCA's direct service, advocacy, and collaborative work in the community focused on eliminating racism, empowering women, and homelessness has expanded, staff and budget has doubled, and its strategic focus has sharpened.

Reverend Dr. Joan Brown Campbell was instrumental in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s first appearance at an all-white Cleveland church. When Dr. King was prevented from going inside the church, she arranged for him to speak on the steps outside the church, and more than 3,000 people of all colors and faiths, gathered that day to hear the inspirational civil rights leader. White and black leaders and citizens came together to address issues of racial inequality and social injustice, and built important relationships and coalitions that endure to this day.

Betty Pinkney is a retired educator in Cleveland City Schools and an ever-constant advocate for civil rights. Alongside her husband, the late Arnold Pinkney, she organized grassroots efforts that contributed significantly to Carl Stokes becoming the first African-American mayor of a major city and to Louis Stokes becoming the first African-American person from the State of Ohio to be elected to the United States Congress.