PEP honored for embodying MLK’s spirit, teachings

At The Cleveland Orchestra’s annual program honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Positive Education Program was recognized for its impact on the lives of children in Northeast Ohio.

PEP received the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award – a recognition of the agency’s work in the spirit and teachings of Dr. King. The award was presented on Sunday, Jan. 20, at the beginning of the Orchestra’s 39th annual concert celebrating Dr. King. The award – now in its 15th year – is presented by the Orchestra in cooperation with the City of Cleveland.

“It is a tremendous honor that PEP has been chosen to receive the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service Award,” PEP CEO Habeebah R. Grimes said. “At PEP we believe that every child has potential and that children strive in the context of supportive, nurturing relationships. We are grateful for Dr. King’s teachings as we go about the work of serving children and families. We are grateful to know that our efforts to a shine a light on their needs – and their strengths – are recognized by the community we serve.”

Richard K. Smucker, Chair of the Board of The Cleveland Orchestra, welcomed guests to the awards presentation and concert. Winners were announced by Jeffery Weaver, Chair, Cleveland Orchestra Community Engagement Committee, and presented onstage with Mayor Frank G. Jackson, Cleveland City Councilman Hon. Kevin Conwell and Cuyahoga Councilwoman Hon. Yvonne Conwell.

The sold-out, free concert – conducted by Assistant Conductor Vinay Parameswaran – featured the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus prepared by William Henry Caldwell, soloist Lawrence Brownlee and narrator Judge Patricia Ann Blackmon. The concert was broadcast live on radio stations WCLV (104.9 FM) and WCPN (90.3 FM). Click here for coverage of the concert from The Plain Dealer.

Photo (From left to right): Kenneth W. Outcalt, chair, PEP Board of Directors and principal, The NRP Group; Margot Copeland, CEO, KeyBank Foundation; Frank Jackson, mayor, City of Cleveland; and Habeebah R. Grimes, CEO, Positive Education Program