MLK Day 2020: From dreams to visions to victory

April and Smokie with MLK

The City of Aurora will honor the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the 35th Annual Aurora MLK Ceremony on Monday, January 20, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. at Waubonsie Valley High School, 2590 Ogden Avenue . 

With the theme ‘From Dreams to Visions to Victory,” the celebration will feature oratorical and musical performances by local students, a highlight of mentoring programs in Aurora, a presentation of the Donna J. Williams Service Awards and the Mayor’s Service Above Self Awards and remarks from special guests Political Analyst April Ryan and Pastor Smokie Norful.

April Ryan is a longtime White House correspondent, Washington, D.C., Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks, a political analyst and a sought-after public speaker. She is the best-selling author of several books, including The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White, and Under Fire: Reporting from the Front Lines of the Trump White House. She is an esteemed member of the National Press Club, the White House Correspondents Association and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Smokie Norful is a two-time Grammy award-winning recording artist and an internationally-known musician, composer, and preacher. Norful’s 2002 debut musical release ‘I Need You Now’ propelled him to worldwide recognition. Since that time, he has had three Number 1 Billboard albums and has sold over two million records worldwide. Norful serves as Senior Pastor of Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, IL where his ministry is focused on reaching the community and encouraging its members to live a life of service. He is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

The event is free and open to the public. 

For questions about the event, contact the Mayor's Office at 630-256-3010 or [email protected] 

Day of Service 2020


We answer the question by serving our beloved community of Aurora. 

The Aurora MLK Service Committee and the Mayor’s Office Service Team are hosting the 2020 MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 20, 2020! 

Students – and parents – are encouraged to register to serve at any of the following 13 locations in Aurora. Times vary by location and range from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More than 300 service slots* are available and designated for students in elementary school (E –second grade and older)**, middle school (M), and high school (H):

Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry (M,H) FULL

Aurora Public Library – Downtown (E, M, H) FULL

Aurora Public Library - West Branch (E, M, H) FULL

Aurora Public Library -Eola Branch (E, M, H) FULL

Cowherd Middle School  (E, M, H) FULL

Elmwood Nursing Home (M, H)

Greenman Elementary School (E, M, H)

 Hesed House of Aurora (H) FULL

Jennings Terrace  (M, H) FULL

Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry (H) FULL

SciTech Hands On Museum (E, M, H)

Sunnymere Senior Housing (M, H) FULL

Symphony at Orchard Valley Care Center (M, H)

*Only one slot per person. Each person MUST registered.

**Elementary students must be accompanied by an adult 

After participating in the Day of Service, volunteers will be presented awards at the Annual MLK Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at Waubonsie Valley High School. Please make plans to attend the event. 


Servic Above Self

Mayor Richard C. Irvin will present the 2020 Service Above Self Award to students who honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King and his commitment to community service. 

The annual Service Above Self Awards are presented to middle school, high school and college students during Aurora’s 35th Annual Martin Luther King Jr Celebration on Monday, January 20, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Waubonsie Valley High School.  

Nominations are open to students who:

  • Dedicate a significant amount of time serving others   
  • Go above and beyond to make our community better 
  • Serve as role models to their peers

Students can be nominated by parents, family members, educators, mentors, coaches and advisors. College students can also be self-nominated. 


Nomination Deadline: Noon on Friday, January 10, 2020