U of I President Dr. B Joesph White to be Honored, Keynote Speaker at 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Dinner

Chicago, IL, January 05, 2007 --(PR.com)-- Dr. B. Joseph White, President of the University of Illinois, will be both honored and serve as the featured speaker at the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations (ICDHR) 39th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dinner and Celebration on Saturday, January 13 at the Chicago Hilton and Towers Hotel here. 

Details of the event were announced by Reverend Clyde H. Brooks, ICDHR President and Chief Executive Officer, who established the annual tribute to Dr. King more than 40 years ago. Dr. Brooks said Dr. White will be recognized for his successful fight before the U. S. Supreme Court to keep affirmative action part of the University of Michigan’s admission program when he served as interim president of that university. 

More than 1,000 concerned representatives from the government, education, religion, business and community sectors are expected to attend this year’s event. Last year, attendees were treated to an extraordinary presentation by the 2006 honoree and featured speaker, John Bryant, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Operation HOPE, headquartered in Los Angeles, Ca.

Honorary Dinner Chairs are Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. Dinner Chairs are Larry Wert, President and General Manager of NBC 5 Chicago, and Gregg Steinberg, President of International Profit Associates. Honorary Dinner Co-Chairs include Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, Jr., Cook County State’s Attorney Richard Devine, Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, Cheryl Jackson of the Chicago Urban League, Frank Clark of Com Ed and a number of other corporate executives. 

Warner Saunders, News Anchor at NBC 5 Chicago will join Merri Dee, Director of Community Relations for WGN Television, as emcees for the event. 

Dr. White will be presented the Martin Luther King, Jr. Excellence in Leadership Award. The award is presented to those who best embody the ideals of the late civil rights icon and who are keeping King's dream alive through their example. 

Other past honorees include:
Andrew Young Ambassador to the United Nations
Danny Glover Actor
Kweisi Mfume President, NAACP
Willie Brown Speaker of the House California General Assembly
Julian Bond First Black to run for U.S. President, and Chair of the NAACP
Rev. Jesse Jackson President, Rainbow Coalition

Other speakers and honorees have included Muhammad Ali, Ozzie Guillen, Lovie Smith and Dusty Baker. Former President Ronald Reagan was the 1984 dinner speaker when he addressed the attendees via satellite.

The evening’s music will be provided by Walt Whitman and the Soul Children of Chicago and the Class Act Orchestra. The event will include a raffle for such items as round trip airline tickets and Caribbean cruises.

The Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations, formerly known the Suburban Human Relations Commission, is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization that creates successful human relations models and promotes diversity inclusiveness across gender, race and cultural lines. The organization is directed by Dr. Brooks, who worked with Dr. King on the Selma to Montgomery Campaign as well as the Chicago Civil Rights Movement in 1966.

For historical information about this annual event, visit the organization’s website at www.icdhr.com or email info@icdhr.com.

Tickets can be purchased on the ICDHR website, http://www.icdhr.com/king_dinner.html or by contacting the ICDHR directly at (847) 253-7538.

International Profit Associates
Jennifer Cumbee