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Two Old Dominion University Faculty to Be Honored at 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 21

By Betsy Hnath

*Due to an overwhelming response, the 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders' Breakfast is sold out. This includes sponsorship tables and individual registrations. Same-day registrations cannot be accommodated.*

Old Dominion University's Narketta Sparkman-Key, assistant professor of counseling and human services, and Amy Milligan, assistant professor of women's studies and director of the Institute of Jewish Studies and Interfaith Understanding, will receive community leaders' awards at the 35th annual Urban League of Hampton Roads Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.

The event, hosted by Old Dominion University and co-sponsored by Norfolk State University and Eastern Virginia Medical School, is slated for Monday, Jan. 21, at 8 a.m at the Ted Constant Center. Jay Jones, member of the Virginia House of Delegates for the 89th District, will serve as keynote speaker.

Sparkman-Key is an expert in self-esteem development, adolescent suicide and an award-winning international speaker. She will deliver a TEDx talk on Friday, Jan. 18, in St. Louis to discuss the importance of mental health of black adolescents.

She was nominated this year by the YWCA of South Hampton Roads as a Woman of Distinction in Research and Sciences. In 2016, Sparkman-Key was named an Inside Business Top 40 Under 40 and received the President Broderick Award for Diversity and Inclusion. She's also received the Darden College of Education Community Service Award and the Kate Broderick Educational Accessibility Award.

Milligan, who received the Broderick Diversity Champion Award, considers her position at ODU her "dream job." Her research and advocacy focus on communities whose stories aren't always in the majority: women, Jews of color, disabled Jews, LGBT Jews and small-town Jews.

Following last year's synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Milligan organized a campus ceremony. She also helped Old Dominion in its first public celebration of Hanukkah.

Begun in 1984, the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leaders' awards are presented to individuals or groups who promote positive images, exemplify community service, demonstrate the values that model those of Dr. King and show evidence of the impact their contributions make in the lives of others.

Other awardees this year are: Sara Carroll,executive director for Sara's Mentoring Center, Inc., and owner of A-1 Environmental Services Inc.; Barbara Willis,CEO of Hampton Roads Community Health Center;Cardell C. Patillo, youth pastor and community leader; and Donovan Stokes, student at Norfolk State University.

Also in honor of Dr. King, the Nu Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity at ODU will host its annual march. This year's theme is "Break the Silence" to continue advocating for those without a voice in the continued fight for justice.

The march is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, at 10:45 a.m. and will start at the Brock Commons of the Old Dominion University campus. It will be followed by a short ceremony and refreshments.

Related News Stories


Sparkman-Key Will Deliver TEDx Talk on Black Adolescent Suicide

"Black youth suicide is at an all-time high, exceeding white youth similar in age," says the associate professor and assistant chair of counseling and human services. (More)

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Amy Milligan Researches Lives of Jews in Selma, Alabama

The Batten Endowed Assistant Professor is collecting information about the five remaining members of the last synagogue in a city known for civil rights. (More)


Del. Jay Jones Named Keynote Speaker for Urban League's 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

The yearly event, to be held at ODU on Jan. 21, recognizes individuals who "demonstrate the values that model those of Dr. King." (More)

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