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Saint Louis University, Urban League to Host Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Tribute Friday, Jan. 12

Saint Louis University and the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, in partnership with Ameren Missouri will host its sixth annual memorial tribute honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Friday, Jan. 12, in the Wool Ballroom of SLU’s Busch Student Center, 20 N. Grand Blvd. The event begins with a breakfast at 8 a.m. and continues with the program starting at 9 a.m. Noted civil rights activist, politician and diplomat Andrew Young will be the keynote speaker and Civil Rights Legend awardee. This event is sponsored by Ameren and Centene Corporation.

Ambassador Young was a key confidant and strategist to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1972, he was elected to represent Georgia’s 5th district, the first African-American elected from the South since Reconstruction. He was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to serve as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, the first African-American to do so. In that role, Young established the framework for international negotiations that led to democracy in several nations in Southern Africa.

He later served as Mayor of Atlanta, bringing jobs and $70 billion in private investment to the city during a recession. His leadership, vision and global reputation were instrumental in bringing the Centennial Olympic Games to Atlanta in 1996.

In addition to Ambassador Young, Xernona Clayton, founder of the Trumpet Awards, National Urban League President Marc H. Morial and television personality Judge Glenda Hatchett will also receive Lifetime Achievement Awards and bring remarks at the event.

The program also will include a welcome by Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D., president of Saint Louis University, prayers by Father Justin Daffron, S.J., special assistant to the president and a reflection by Jonathan C. Smith, Ph.D., vice president for diversity and community engagement.

SLU alumnus Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, will emcee the program and join Dr. Pestello to present awards this year’s awards.

During this special event, the following individuals and businesses will be honored for their contributions to the St. Louis community:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Marc Haydel Morial, American political and civic leader; current president of National Urban League; and mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002.
  • Civil Rights Legend Award: Xernona Clayton, American civil rights leader and broadcasting executive. During the Civil Rights Movement, Clayton worked for the National Urban League and Southern Christian Leadership Conference, where she became involved in the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Legal Legend Award: Judge Glenda Hatchett, Presiding Judge, Fulton County (Atlanta, Georgia) Juvenile Court and the first African American Chief Presiding Judge.
  • Civic Leadership Award: Tom Irwin, Executive Director of Civic Progress, a group of the 30 largest employers in the St. Louis region, which formed more than 50 years ago to deal with issues of civic importance.  Irwin has more than 25 years of diverse public policy and public administration experience.
  • Civic Leadership Award: Malik Ahmed, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Better Family Life, Inc., in St. Louis Missouri.
  • Corporate Leadership Award: Al Mitchell, President, Monsanto Fund and Vice President Community Relations, where he will leads the company’s global strategy for charitable giving, corporate contributions, volunteerism and community.
  • Donald Brennan Humanitarian Award: Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D., professor of psychology, Saint Louis University.

Complimentary parking is available in the University garage located at Grand and Laclede.


For more information or to RSVP, contact Rita McMillan at (314) 977-2254 or or link to


For media inquiries or to schedule coverage, contact Jeanette Grider in University Communications at 314-977-2538 or Angelia D. Bills, Vice President of Communications of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis at (314) 704-6971 or


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