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Community Service Awards Recipients Announced

Recipients of the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Awards Announced


December 16, 2020



Tanisha Jumper, Media and Communications, tjumper@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-5091

Stacy Ellifritt, Media and Communications, stacy.ellifritt@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2005


Recipients of the 2021 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Awards Announced


The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Awards recognizes excellence in community service activities carried out by an individual, organization or group, and seeks to encourage similar efforts by others who may want to serve in the community. These awards are presented each year during the City of Tacoma’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration.

The City’s Events and Recognitions Committee will honor Alicia Mathurin with the Lifetime Service Award, Joy S. Wilde with the Emerging Leader Award, and Mayor Woodards will present a Special Recognition to Shalisa Hayes during the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration on Monday, January 18, 2021. The program will be presented in a virtual format to comply with the current COVID-19 restrictions.


The Lifetime Service Award honors an individual or a group that has been dedicated to offering services to a given community or population. The selection panel said of Ms. Mathurin, “Alicia honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy in two ways: Creating a space for people of color - specifically women - to gather and talk about racial issues and social justice; and also by being a co-founder of the Tacoma Community Market where vendors of color are showcased and can be celebrated. Those two contributions, as well as her leadership role at Annie Wright Schools, means that she is a pillar of our community as well as a catalyst for new ways of teaching students about diversity.”


The Emerging Leader award focuses on individuals who are 30 years of age or younger. This year the award goes to Joy S. Wilde. “Her name says it all,” said the selection panel. “Reading her story brought us joy. Ms. Wilde is truly an emerging leader in Tacoma. She is barely a teenager but we can all learn from her example of channeling trauma from tragedy into something positive, and also for using her passion for sports and softball as a platform to have conversations about race, and inspire other young women to do the same. She embodies the award criteria, and demonstrated a commitment to becoming a leader for a lifetime, following the generations who have come before to give back to and lift up their communities.”


Mayor Woodards’ Special Recognition recipient is Shalisa Hayes. A Tacoma activist who exemplifies leadership and is working to support many in the community now more than ever before. Ms. Hayes, who lost her 17-year-old son to gun violence in 2011, has since dedicated herself to serving the community. She was a driving force behind bringing the Eastside Community Center to life. This state of the art facility, located in a historically underserved neighborhood of Tacoma, provides a safe, fun place for young people to learn, grow, and engage.


“Shalisa Hayes is a visionary whose determination and resilience have created a destination where youth and community members of all ages can build greater connectedness, creativity, and health,” said Mayor Woodards. “During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the role of this center may have changed, but it is still providing vital services as a warming shelter that protects the health of our most vulnerable neighbors during these cold months. Shalisa’s work extends well beyond Tacoma, and we are fortunate she calls our city home.”


Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the City will present a virtual celebration program that will be released on multiple platforms. This year’s event theme is “Collective Voices/Collective Hope.” The program will highlight the present and the future of Dr. King’s impacts on our community and will feature local performers and speakers who work and volunteer to ensure our community represents equity and hope.


TV Tacoma will premiere the program on Monday, January 18, 2021, at 8 PM. The program can be viewed online and streamed live on Facebook at facebook.com/cityoftacoma. It will also be played on TV Tacoma, which is carried on both the Click! (via Rainier Connect) and Comcast Cable systems. The event will continue to be televised throughout January.


For more information about the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, visit cityoftacoma.org/mlk, email MLK@cityoftacoma.org or call (253) 573-2523.