About the Task Force

Our Mission 

To commemorate the holiday symbolizing brotherhood among all men, reminding us of the ongoing struggle to keep the dream alive for human rights in our community, and for peace throughout the world.

  • To celebrate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • To accept the challenges to work to make real the promises of America as a land of freedom, equality, opportunity, and brotherhood.
  • To commit to plan observances to remind us of his philosophy of non-violent actions for creating positive social change

Who We Are

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force, Inc. is an all volunteer grassroots civic organization. Its purpose is to communicate to others in the local community the importance of celebrating the National Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force, Inc. was established in 1985. Receiving its incorporation status in 1992, the Task Force is comprised of local residents, private and public organizations and local government representatives.

The first Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Walk was in Southfield, Michigan on January 20, 1986, thus commemorating the first observance of the national holiday for Dr. King.

Founding members include former Councilwoman, Barbara Talley, and numerous Southfield residents.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force, Inc. meets at 6:30 PM at the Parks and Recreation building of the Southfield Municipal complex 26000 Evergreen Road Southfield, MI 48076.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Task Force, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

Executive Officers


Patricia Haynie

1st Vice President

Robin Dillard-Russaw, Esq.

2nd Vice President

Dedra Hobbs


Barbara Seldon

Recording Secretary

Sharon Kelly-Person

Corresponding Secretary

Tracey Payne-Tellis

Financial Manager

Daniel Brightwell

Standing Committees


Responsible for recruitment and orientation of new members, maintaining current list of financial members, and sending payment notices to all non current members.

Budget and Finance

Responsible for preparing the annual budget, supervision of expended funds, working with committees on assessing financial needs, and making recommendations on financial policy.

Marketing and Public Relations

Promote the concerns of the organization through distribution of news through the local media including website preparation and maintenance. Church & Synagogue sub-committee maintains records of all religious institutions in the community and communicates Task Force activities to them.

Annual MLK Walk Celebration

Organize the annual Peace Walk and Pavilion Program according to the organization’s theme. Coordinate with the City of Southfield for use of facilities and personnel, and the schools for youth participation. Facilitate Adult and Youth Service recognition awards.


Keep historical records of the organization and its members and prepare displays for the organizations functions and activities.

Budget and Finance

Prepare the annual budget for the organization and supervise expended funds.

Publicity and Public Relations

Document and publicize special concerns, activities and events of the organization.

Youth Peacemakers

Promote community involvement and leadership to the students in our community.




Identify and develop educational programs following the purposes and mission of the organization. Form and maintain a Speaker’s Bureau, hold an annual student essay contest, and sponsor and support the Youth Peacemakers.

Scholarship Awards

Set the criteria for disbursement of funds raised and set aside for scholarships; solicit, identify and evaluate applicants.


Plan and organize activities to generate funds to operate organization programs. Includes fundraisers, annual MLK button sales, and Peace Walk Souvenir Booklet.


Develop a volunteer program to nurture and sustain volunteerism and to help surface volunteer activities. Manage table/booth program and obtain ushers for the Peace Walk program. Manage Youth Community Service Awards.

Grant Writing

Research special funding sources and prepare grant requests to obtain funds for special projects.


Maintain website with ongoing and updated activities of the organization and membership and contact information.

Education Committee

Identify and develop educational programs following the purposes and missions of the organization.



Funds solicited to underwrite the program, awards, essay contest.

Essay Contest

Awards given for first place essays in at 3 levels: elementary, middle and high school.


Exhibits are displayed depicting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. civil rights movement and historical events and people.

Volunteers & Volunteer Tables

Volunteers are solicited to help in every area of the planning and execution of the program.

Volunteer and non profit organization display tables are set up show the organization literature and services and solicit volunteers.

School Liaison

Ensures communication of committee needs to proper school departments.


Escort attendees to seats, reserve seats for elected officials and hand out souvenir booklets and membership applications when required.

Opening Ceremonies

Shorten program at the Church preceding the Walk.

City Liaison

Ensures communication of committee needs to proper city departments.

Church and Synagogue

Engage the participation of Churches and Synagogues in the area.

Souvenir Book

Solicits ads from businesses, churches, individuals, and organizations for the booklet to show community support.


Walk to symbolize walks during civil rights era with singing of appropriate songs.


Opening, music, choirs, speakers, ringing of the bell, community service award involvement of school.

Sound and Lighting.


Funds solicited to underwrite the program, awards, essay contest.