MLK Day 2019: A Day of Service, A Day of Hope


The City of Aurora, in collaboration with the Aurora MLK Committee, honors the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. annually on his observed birthday. 

On Monday, January 21, 2019, the world honors what would have been the 90th birthday of the Drum Major for Justice. This year also marks the 65th anniversary of his first senior pastor role in 1954 of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama from where he led the Montgomery Bus Boycott the following year. 

The 20 MLK Day Celebration will feature performances by students from East, Metea Valley, Waubonsie Valley, and West Aurora High Schools, the Illinois Math and Science Academy, the Cathedral of Grace St. John Church and more. 

Aurora residents will be honored with the Donna J. Willams Service Award for their participation in the MLK Day of Service and local student-leaders will receive Mayor Richard Irvin’s Service Above Self Awards for their year-round efforts to give back to the community.

Monday, January 21, 2019

6:00 p.m.

Eastt Aurora High School | 500 Tomcat Lane

Day of Service Mast


Model Dr. King's example of service by volunteering during the 2019 MLK Day of Service on Monday, January 21, 2019.

 Sign-up below to serve at Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry, Aurora Public Library - Eola Branch, Aurora Public Library - Santori Branch, Aurora Public Library - West Branch, Elmwood Terrace Rehabilitation Center, Greenman Elementary School, Hesed House, SciTech Hands On Museum, Sunnymere Senior Housing and Symphony of Orchard Valley           


After participating in the Day of Service, volunteers will be recognized at the Annual MLK Ceremony at 6:00 p.m. at East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Lane.


Teddy Matthews 2019

In spite of everything taking place around him, Theodore (Teddy) Matthews has a distinct calling on his life to be a leader among his peers and even those that came before him. His strong commitment and dedication to servant-leadership is unparalleled.

He is an innovator, visionary, and emerging thought-leader- possessing wisdom far beyond his years. Theodore Matthews is a graduate of Walther Lutheran High School, while he is completing coursework at Moody Bible Institute; he also is furthering his studies in Organizational Leadership. 

In 2010 he founded The Empowerment Academy, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, that concentrates on the spiritual, educational, and social development of youth in Proviso Township. As the Director of The Empowerment Academy, he led the charge in Maywood to organize two community-wide events 2011. The ‘State of Our Youth Address’ brought together political, civic, and educational leaders with the youth in Maywood to address critical issues pertaining to their future. In an attempt to address the senseless violence, his ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ event assembled community organizers from the Western Suburbs to offer guidance and solutions for his city and the next generation.  

In 2015, he launched Empowerment Ministries, a new ministry designed for reaching people, restoring hope, and reviving a generation. In March of 2016, Easter Sunday, they launched Empowerment Church, a growing new church in the Chicagoland area. 

Theodore's previous roles include serving as Associate Minister, Youth & Young Adult Pastor and Ministry Lead. 

 His leadership continues to extend to a number of boards and service-oriented initiatives in the Proviso Township and greater Chicagoland Area.

 Through his leadership, he seeks to have multi-generational impact through spiritual development, educational empowerment, and social consciousness. His personal commitment is to restoring hope, revitalizing vision, and rebuilding community.

His pride and joy can be found in his family. Together he and his wife Jeri have two children, Cami (daughter) and Jayce (son).