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MLK I have a dream

55th Annual Dr. King
Remembrance Dinner
December 14, 2024

"Dr. King: Education, the Next Battleground"

Saturday, December 14, 2024  I  Black Tie Optional

Reception 6:00 p.m. I Dinner 7:00 p.m.


Cotillion Banquets - 360 S. Creekside Drive, Palatine, IL

"I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright day break of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional truth and unconditional love will have the final word."  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King
55th Annual
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Dinner 

Honoring Dr. Timothy Killeen

Every year the ICDHR commemorates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with an annual dinner. The dinner celebrates Dr. King's birthday, advance academic scholarship opportunities for deserving Chicago high school seniors and honor community and business leaders involved in carrying out the dream of Dr. King.

The dinner commemorates the death of Dr. King and to remember and elevate his messages of justice, equality, unity and peace. He believed strongly that leaders are those who help others become great, and in doing so, they become great. 

2023 Dinner Recap

Notable Past Speakers

Jesse Jackson • Mohammed Ali  Ronald Reagan 

Honorary Chairs
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Dr. Georges Benjamin

Executive Director, American Public Health Association

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Dr. Lori Bein

Superintendent, School District 25, Arlington Heights, IL

Rev. John Alan Boryk

Rev. Dr. John Alan Boryk

Chairman, Outreach Committee ICDHR

Dr. Tanjia Coleman.jpg

Dr. Tanjia Coleman

Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, NorthShore University Health System

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Mr. Van Dukeman

Chairman & CEO, First Busey Corporation

Mr. John Eilering.jpg

Mr. John Eilering

Executive Vice President, Market Chairman, Busey Bank

Major Johnson.jpg

The Honorable
Brandon Johnson

Mayor, City of Chicago

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Mr. Matt Manning

Executive Vice President, Busey Bank, Board Member ICDHR

Christopher Meir

Mr. Chris Mier

President, Rosebud Strategies

Toni Preckwinkle

The Honorable Toni Preckwinkle

President, Cook County Board of Commissioners

Dr. Avis Proctor

Dr. Avis Proctor

President, William Rainey

Harper College

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Ms. Amelia White

Manager, Community Outreach, Southwest Airlines

Invited Speaker
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The Honorable Brandon Johnson

Mayor ofChicago 

2023 Honoree

Dr. Timothy Killeen

President, University of Illinois System

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Excellence in Leadership Honor

Presented to Dr. Killeen in recognition of his unwavering commitment to, and longevity, in promoting quality, post-secondary education to thousands of students, resulting in a positive, life-changing impact.

Mistress of Ceremonies
Regina Waldroup

Ms. Regina Waldroup

Reporter, NBC5 Chicago

Musical Performance

Soul Children of Chicago

The Soul Children of Chicago community feeds the soul of every child through education, career guidance, international cultural experiences, and music.

2023 Recap
2023 Dinner Recap

“Over the past few weeks, the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations (ICDHR) has sent to you alerts  and other information regarding the 54th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Dinner held December 2, 2023.  Given the tremendous outpouring of interest on the part of dinner attendees and th larger community,  we wanted to share the results of the event with you.

The event brought nearly 500 concerned residents, suburban mayors, legislators, educators and, business leaders  together at Cotillion Banquets in Palatine.  Among the attendees were Van Dukeman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Busey Bank Corporation. Our emcee, NBC 5 reporter Regina Waldroup, was absolutely superb in orchestrating an array of talent present at the event.  Following the Invocation, we were electrified by the soulful voices of the Soul Children of Chicago. 

Our honoree and speaker, Dr. Timothy L. Killeen, President of the University of Illinois drew the praise of the audience when he addressed the theme of the remembrance, “Dr. King: Education, the Next Battleground”.

Nicholas Tarleton who received the ICDHR’s most prestigious academic scholarship several years ago, traced his education progress from an early age. He expressed gratitude to the ICDHR for the scholarship that allow him to graduate from the University of Illinois and now serves as an executive with the McDonald’s Corporation.  Nicholas was among the large number of young men and women that received have received scholarships from the ICDHR.

During the program, Amelia White, an executive with Southwest Airlines,  contributor of airline tickets, joined Rev. Brooks, the Commission’s chairman,  in presenting awards to a number of raffle winners.

The 54th remembrance of Dr. King ended with stirring comments from Rev. Brooks.  He challenged the attendees to become more involved in their children’s education and more knowledgeable of what their children are learning and not learning in schools.  He warned the attendees of the current  movement to remove books on black history from American History, the growing censorship by right winged conservatives throughout the United States and the invasion of constitutional rights that focus on  the rights of women and other groups throughout the country.


Rev. Brooks announced that the 55th annual remembrance of Dr. King with be in November 2024. Please watch the website for an announcement of the exact date”.

2023 Photos

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