2021 MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala

In January 2021, the City of Dallas will host its 39th annual celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a weeks’ worth of virtual events, including the annual MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala.

The Gala, renamed in 2019 to the MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala, is a longstanding event of the celebration and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our goal for the Scholarship & Awards Gala is to support the educational aspirations of City of Dallas youth through scholarships and to recognize City of Dallas residents that have made invaluable contributions to their communities reflecting the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The purpose and goal of the awards is to acknowledge organizations that echo the City of Dallas’ core values of Empathy, Ethics, Equity, & Excellence as a reflection of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their service to the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.

This year’s event will be virtual, with tickets for sale on Eventbrite.

Date: Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 6:30pm

  1. Networking Reception – 5:15pm 
  2. Gala – 6:30pm 

Theme: “The Fierce Urgency of Now”

Purchase tickets via Eventbrite

Keynote Speaker

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks; President & CEO, Marshalling Resources Consulting; Retired AT&T SVP-Human Resources & Chief Diversity Officer

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall has been named the official Keynote Speaker of the 2021 MLK Scholarship & Awards Gala. Cynt is the CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, and President & CEO of Marshalling Resources Consulting.

Cynt Marshall has been a dynamic force for inclusion and diversity within the Mavericks organization and over a 36-year career at AT&T.  When Cynt was hired as new the CEO of the Mavs in March 2018, she set her sights on a culture transformation.  Her vision was for the Mavericks organization to become the NBA standard for inclusion and diversity, and brought transparency, trust and her values-based leadership style that evolved the company culture in her first 100 days.

Click here to read her entire bio.

Networking Reception

Our Galas have served as an opportunity for friends, professionals, colleagues, and community members to congregate, fellowship, and network. However, with vast swaths of the city under social distancing restrictions, networking may be the furthest thing from your mind. But just because you cannot connect in person does not mean your professional relationships have to languish. Therefore, for 2021, we have pivoted to organizing a virtual networking event instead.  

Often, we work within the silos of our respective fields and forget there is an entire city filled with like-minded people working to achieve the same goal, a better Dallas for everyone. Our networking Gala Reception will allow people, groups, and/or organizations that align in the non-profit sector to meet, chat, and exchange information. Hopefully, this will lead to new and exciting partnerships! 

Here are a few questions we are all considering in the age of COVID-19: 

  • What is an interesting way you are using your time now? 
  • Tell us about a time during the pandemic you have been resilient. 
  • How have you adapted to working and living while social distancing? 
  • What are you enjoying most about your job right now, and why? 
  • What is something unexpected you have learned or done in the past year? 


VIP ticket holders receive:

  • 2021 MLK Memorabilia Gold Ticket.
  • 2021 Keepsake.
  • Access to Networking Reception (pre-Gala).
  • Gala. 
  • A delectable dessert delivered to your home (only City of Dallas addresses).
General Admission ticket holders receive:
  • 2021 MLK Memorabilia Silver Ticket.
  • 2021 Keepsake.
  • Access to Networking Reception (pre-Gala).
  • Gala.