Volunteer Arlington Presents First Beloved Community Award

ARLINGTON, Va. – Volunteer Arlington, a program of the Leadership Center for Excellence, has selected Saundra Green as the first recipient of the Beloved Community Award. The award will be presented at the opening program for Volunteer Arlington’s Sixth Annual MLK Day of Service event on Monday, January 16, 2023.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., dreamed of a beloved community in which everyone is cared for, absent of poverty, hunger, and hate. The Beloved Community Award was created to recognize an exemplary leader who embodies this vision.

Saundra Green is a community activist and Arlington, VA, resident who embodies Dr. King’s dream of a beloved community. It is an honor to present her with this award. In 1969, just one year after Dr. King’s assassination, she founded Arlington County’s MLK Tribute, which predates nearly all other MLK remembrance celebrations. During her career with Arlington County’s Department of Parks and Recreation, she was a playground leader, a community organizer, a center supervisor, and ultimately an area manager. Through her work there, she initiated food drives, organized teen clubs, mobilized residents to speak up in the face of injustice, and created beloved programs including the Arlington Youth Street Theatre, Junior Jamboree, and the Miss Black Teenage Arlington pageant. She also championed many projects including the Powhatan Springs Skate Park, the preservation of High View Park, and the creation of a playground in tribute to Fire Station Number Eight. Today, she continues to serve Arlington County through her work on area committees and with Arlington’s Historic Preservation Program. 

“Saundra Green is an example to us all,” said Lisa Fikes, President and CEO of the Leadership Center for Excellence. “We are honored to celebrate Green’s spirit and commitment to Dr. King’s dreams while also inspiring future generations to follow her lead in working toward building a beloved community.”

Please join us on January 16, 2023, at Washington-Liberty High School for the MLK Day of Service. During the opening program, Volunteer Arlington will honor Saundra Green. 

Learn more about the MLK Day of Service and sign up to volunteer at volunteer.leadercenter.org/mlk. There are opportunities to volunteer both in person and virtually.

About Volunteer Arlington

Volunteer Arlington, a program of the Leadership Center for Excellence, connects individuals, groups, and businesses to local nonprofit and county volunteer opportunities. The mission of the Leadership Center for Excellence is to connect, develop, and inspire leaders for personal growth, civic engagement, and community impact. For more information, visit leadercenter.org or volunteer.leadercenter.org.