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Working Together. Sharing the Dream.

Drum Major Award

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major Award for community service is based on nominees who selflessly perform daily acts of service to make their community—and our world— a better place. The award was created by the Great Lakes Bay Regional MLK Celebration event committee, and the honorees are selected from Bay, Midland and Saginaw counties.

“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness… We all have the drum major instinct.”

Excerpt from The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s
"Drum Major Instinct" sermon,
given on February 4, 1968.


2022 Honorees



Darold Newton is the TV host and producer for Delta College Public Media’s “Soul Issue: The African American Perspective." He also serves as president of the NAACP Bay City Branch, a role he has filled since 2011. Darold has worked to address civil rights and social justice issues for all people in Bay County and the Great Lakes Bay Region. He has worked with community partners on projects such as the 2020 Census; Black Lives Matter policing issues; and diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies in the K-12 system.



Erin Patrice is the creator and host of The Breaking Bread Village in Midland, a space where people can engage in conversations aimed at creating positive change. Erin is an active community volunteer, serving on the Midland County Housing Commission and the Midland Area Cultural Awareness Coalition. She also sits on several boards that allow her to advocate for seniors and children.



 Waheed Akbar, M.D., is an orthopedic surgeon with Ascension Medical Group and has been a dedicated community volunteer. He serves on boards of directors for a number of organizations, including Ascension St. Mary’s, the Saginaw Valley State University Foundation and the Saginaw Branch of the NAACP. He established the Dr. Raana Akbar Memorial Lecture on Islam and Culture at SVSU in memory of his wife, and he is active in Interfaith Saginaw.


Past Honorees

2021 Honorees

  • Charles Brunner
  • Diane Brown Wilhelm
  • Frances Carter

2020 Honorees

  • Carolyn Wierda
  • Dave Stickles
  • Charles McNair

2019 Honorees

  • Jeanne Lound Schaller
  • Benton Gibson
  • Leola Wilson

2018 Honorees

  • Eileen Curtis
  • Pastor Rufus Bradley
  • Randi Kawakita

2017 Honorees

  • Brandon Murphy
  • Billy Strawter
  • Odail Thorns

2016 Honorees

  • John Smith
  • Kevin Kendrick
  • Joan Douglas

 2015 Honorees

  • Betty Jones
  • Freddie Jones
  • Aladia Mazique
  • Teresa Stitt



Sponsorship Information

(989) 964-4068

Office of Diversity Services
(989) 964-4068

The Conference Center

(989) 964-4348