2018 Coro Pittsburgh Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Awards presented by UPMC and UPMC Health Plan

Now in its 11th year, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Awards celebrate those in our community who have made significant accomplishments towards the common good by modeling Dr. King’s inclusive approach to leadership. Join us Saturday, January 20, 2018, at 6:30 PM at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Suites (1 Bigelow Square • Pittsburgh, PA 15219).


2018 Coro Alumni Leadership Award Finalists

Duane Binion Senior Producer, Kelly Strayhorn Theater
An alumnus of Public Allies Pittsburgh (an AmeriCorps program operated by Coro Pittsburgh), Duane Binion strives to build a stronger community through the work that he does at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater and through True T PGH (an organization he co-founded), a community platform for LGBTQ resource sharing, queer arts, and entertainment (with a focus on people of color).

Sara Innamorato Founder, Innamo Co.
Sara, an alumna of Women in Leadership, founder of Innamo Co., and co-founder of She Runs SWPA, is an accomplished marketer for social good who combines elements of digital advocacy, community engagement, event planning, fundraising, and public relations to help nonprofits and government agencies achieve their goals and tackle their challenges. Sara is currently running for State Representative, PA District 21.

Darcel Madkins President, African American Employee Business Resource Group, PNC Bank
Darcel, an alumna of Women in Leadership, is president of the PNC’ Pittsburgh African American Employee Business Resource Group and co-founder of the African American Leadership Association, acting as a mentor to young professionals. Darcel addresses educational, income and services disparities through building coalitions across sectors.

2018 Coro Pittsburgh Alumni Leadership Award Nominees


2018 Organizational Leadership Award Finalists

1Hood Media
1Hood Media is a collective of socially conscious artists and activists, who believe that art is the best way to challenge inequity, raise awareness and unify humanity. They seek to establish a platform for artistic expression in attempts to further the economic and creative advancement of artists, as well the active engagement of diverse audiences.

Bible Center Church / The Oasis Project
Bible Center Church is a multigenerational, multicultural urban teaching ministry that is passionate about making earth more like heaven. The Oasis Project, the community and economic development division of Bible Center Church, uses research and an asset-based community development approach to create oases- places of peace, safety, and happiness in the midst of trouble and difficulty. The project designs cutting-edge programs, builds businesses, creates jobs and adaptively re-uses vacant and abandoned property to empower people and transform the community.

Casa San José
Casa San Jose is a community resource center that advocates for and empowers Latinos by promoting integration and self-sufficiency. It serves as a base of support for English language learners, helping them to access services – especially, services for children, youth, and families – in order to better acclimate to their new home in the Pittsburgh area and to know the experience of welcome here.

2018 Organizational Leadership Award Nominees


2018 Innovation Leadership Award Finalists

Melanie Carter (Blak Rapp M.A.D.U.S.A.) Hip Hop Activist and Artist (Artivist)
Melanie Carter (Blak Rapp M.A.D.U.S.A.) is a Hip-Hop Activist and Artist (Artivist) who uses her platform to empower women of color and fight for prison abolition. She uses her voice to speak out about violence against women and, more specifically, rape culture. Using rap, spoken word, workshops, lectures, film, and video, Madusa is able to reach her audience through multiple mediums. Her goal is to inspire cultural enrichment and leadership development of black women and girls from marginalized communities around the world.

Peyton Klein Founder, Global Minds Initiative
Peyton is a high school student who started Global Minds Initiative, a for-youth-by-youth organization centered on inspiring students to form social bonds, forge intercultural friendships, and consider global issues through extracurricular activities after she noticed a student in her class struggling to speak to the teacher in English. Peyton wanted to get involved and help students to feel more of a sense of community, so she started an organization to build bridges and break down walls between English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Native English speaking students.

Mary Jayne McCullough Founder, Global Wordsmiths
Mary Jayne is the founder and director of Global Wordsmiths, a social enterprise dedicated to improving language access for immigrants and refugees in Western Pennsylvania. McCullough is a fifteen-year veteran translator and interpreter who spent the first half of her career identifying ways to improve access to translators and interpreters for individuals with limited English proficiency. She believes in language access as a human right and works hard to develop innovative ways of helping people communicate in order to access the services they need.

2018 Innovation Leadership Award Nominees


2018 Individual Leadership Finalists

LaRae Cullens Founder, Dream 2 S.T.E.A.M
LaRae is Education Director of And Step Inc. and founder of Dream 2 S.T.E.A.M., a program serving young girls ages 5-12th grade in the fields of Science, Technology, Education/Engineering, Arts, Math/Medicine. She works to expose youth to career paths in these fields and provides a support network to them as they progress through secondary school and into college.

Rev. Shanea D. Leonard Judah Fellowship Christian Church
The Reverend Shanea Leonard embodies activism and inclusiveness in all her community engagement and principles. Rev. Leonard founded Judah Fellowship over five years ago, formed from her beliefs that Jesus Christ espoused a radical, and inclusive, love for whoever is willing should have a place to fellowship in the church. These principles radiate throughout all her work, from her leadership in the ACLU to her Chair position of Mayor Peduto’s LGBTQIA+ Advisory Council.

Christy Pendarvis Mission from Mars
Christy’s mission started when she acted upon a need to feed up to 125 people on Sundays when the Light of Life Mission does not serve. In 2014, she started by simply setting up a free lunch on the North Side. Out of this came Mission from Mars. Through her example, she has found a network of organizations that cook and serve the food 52 weeks a year, holidays included, with Christy present to facilitate. After lunch, Christy personally distributes the remaining food to the homeless in tent cities and other areas.

2018 Individual Leadership Award Nominees

Nominations were solicited from the public from October – December 2017. A Selection Committee comprised of Coro Alumni, partner organization staff, community leaders, and other members of our network reviewed nominations and identified finalists and winners. Winners will be announced at the event on Saturday, January 20th.


Past MLK Award Recipients

Alumni: Tom Baker • Bethany Davidson • James Doyle • La’Tasha D. Mayes • Natalia Rudiak
Individuals: Andrew Butcher • Jan S. Glick • Hashaam Jamil • Kevin Kearns • Maxwell King • Joan Mukogosi • Jeremy Resnick • Mark Roosevelt • David Shapira • Alma Speed Fox • Doug Shields • Dr. John Wallace • Dean Williams
Community Organizations: 412 Food Rescue • Assemble • Community Kitchen Pittsburgh • Hip Hop on Lock • Immigrants and Internationals Advisory Council • Kelly Strayhorn Theater • The Union Project
Corporations / Businesses: Ernst & Young • Pamela’s Restaurant • Pittsburgh Pirates • PNC Financial Services • UPMC Center for Engagement & Inclusion

Sponsorship Opportunites

Sponsorship promotes your socially responsible brand to a highly diverse audience of 300+ event attendees, 5000+ members of Coro’s network, and local media outlets. Support received helps defray the costs of programs and training provided by the Coro Center for Civic Leadership. Click HERE for more information.

Purchase Tickets

Click HERE to Purchase Tickets.


Highlights from the 2017 Coro Pittsburgh Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Awards