Two outstanding community leaders in the City of Newark were honored in Living the Dream, a reception on at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in observance of the annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.

This year’s distinguished recipients honored were community advocate Gloria Hopkins Buck, LCSW (Steward of the Dream Award) and civil rights attorney Ryan P. Haygood (Visionary of the Future Award). The awards are given to individuals whose lifework reflects the ideals and principles of Dr. King’s great legacy.

The celebration included a special performance by NJPAC’s Wells Fargo Jazz for Teens and the Grammy Award winning Jubilation Choir, which has released six albums under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. Stefanie Minatee.

“NJPAC and its partner, the Newark Branch of the NAACP, presented these awards to those who advocate positive relationships and speak to the most vital needs of our citizens,” said Donna Walker-Kuhne, NJPAC’s Senior Advisor of Community Engagement. “Ryan Haygood, who has lent his wise voice to public forums at the Arts Center in the past, shines a light in his tireless pursuit of racial justice. Gloria Hopkins Buck is truly a steward of culture, who strives in work and deed to enhance the quality of life in our city.”

NJPAC pays tribute to one of the 20th century’s most inspiring leaders with live performances and family activities. Other events for the MLK celebration on Jan. 14 include an engagement by Dance Theatre of Harlem and the fourth annual Embodying the Dream, a day of free music, storytelling, spoken word and more for all in the Center for Arts Education, 24 Rector St. Visit for details.

Dr. King’s quest for unity and social justice took him to Newark on March 27, 1968 – one of his final public appearances before his assassination in Memphis eight days later. NJPAC’s Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is held in partnership with the Newark Chapter of the New Jersey NAACP and is sponsored by the PSEG Foundation.

(Photos courtesy of New Jersey Perfomring Arts Center)