Loyola University New Orleans President Jesuit Father Kevin Wildes and six members of the New Orleans community were recently recognized as exemplifying the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his vision, receiving the 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz Award.
In addition to Wildes, Sunday’s ceremony recognized Marlin Gusman, Orleans Parish sheriff; Wm. Raymond Manning, president and CEO of Manning Architects; Bill Summers, master percussionist; Jim Singleton, chairman of the Dryades YMCA; Dwight Payne, director of VIP Services for the House of Blues; and Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Martin Luther King Jr. Jazz Award honors individuals who have contributed to enriching their community, advancing cultural awareness through music and art, and furthering economic opportunity while adhering to the principles of non-violence.
Fr. Wildes, was appointed in July to the New Orleans Civil Service Commission. This appointment continues Fr. Wildes’ long-time record of service for the city. Following Hurricane Katrina, he played a key role in establishing the city’s Ethics Review Board and in setting up an independent Office of the Inspector General. Wildes currently sits on the Public Belt Railroad Commission.
“While I believe public service is always important, the challenges for post-Katrina New Orleans make public service even more vital today,” said Wildes. “New Orleans citizens are demanding, and rightly so, to live within a city government that functions transparently, efficiently and justly. I am honored to be able to assist in this effort.”