Board Members In The News: Martin L. King, III Presents “Keepers of the Dream Entrepreneurial Award” to Lamell McMorris

Apr 13, 2011

In the presence of President Barack Obama, King presents award to Perennial Founder and CEO for his success as an entrepreneur and his achievements in advancing civil and human rights

Washington, D.C., April 11, 2011 – Martin L. King, III presented Perennial Strategy Group Founder and CEO, Lamell McMorris, with the “Keepers of the Dream Entrepreneurial Award” at the National Action Network’s (NAN) 13th Annual Keepers of the Dream Awards Dinner on April 6th at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.  NAN President, Revered Al Sharpton, dedicates the award annually to individuals who work to advance Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of social and economic justice.

“Imagine a seed that has been planted and nurtured – that blossomed over time into a big grand oak tree with roots that can never be severed,” said King during his presentation to McMorris.  “If you can imagine this in human and spiritual form, you would have Lamell McMorris.”

King traced McMorris’s education from Whitney Young High School to Morehouse College and Princeton Theological Seminary, noting that he has “always been groomed by the movement… [and] has always had his people and the welfare of all people deep within his heart.”  As a student, McMorris was King’s intern for four years and later, his Executive Director at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

McMorris graciously accepted the award alongside the nation’s top business leaders, celebrity activists, and philanthropists, in the presence of President Barack Obama, who also delivered remarks.  Actor and comedian Dr. William Cosby delivered the keynote address, and the evening’s award recipients included Muhammad Ali, Samuel and Latanya R. Jackson, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jim Brown, Phil Griffin, Sylvia Rhone, Lee Saunders, and Pastor Ralph D. West.  “Dr. King would have been 82 this past January,” said McMorris in his acceptance speech.  “A child born in 2011 will be 18 years old by his 100th Birthday in 2029. Let’s create an 18 year strategy to measure the movement and create an environment for school safety, high quality education and healthcare. At his 100th Birthday let’s celebrate the results of our work.”

McMorris’s passion to affect change has been shaped by a network of trailblazers who have worked to keep Dr. Martin L. King, Jr.’s faith and dream, including: Tyrone Crider, Anderson Thompson, Louis Meyers, James Compton, Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Rupert Richardson, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton, among countless others.

In concluding, King described McMorris as a “multifaceted businessman, [who] is continuing to give back so that others can move forward . . . a brother that I can respect, admire, and love – a shining example for young men here and all over the world.”

During his remarks, President Obama discussed change in America and recognized what NAN has done in the past two decades to achieve it:  “And I said that if you stand with me and believe in what we can do together, if you do what civil rights groups like the National Action Network have always done, if you put your shoulder to the wheel of history, then we can move this country toward the promise of a better today.”


Perennial Strategy Group is a strategic advisory firm that provides government relations and public affairs services for Fortune 500 companies, national non-profits, trade associations, and public-sector clients on a wide range of public-policy issues.  The firm specializes in the areas of corporate-government collaboration, banking and financial services, community and economic development, grassroots development, and corporate global diversity.