Cleveland Clinic Hosts 2023 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration

Virtual event honors the life and legacy of the late civil rights icon; Microsoft’s Christopher Young to Deliver Keynote Address

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For the 31st consecutive year, Cleveland Clinic hosted its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration to honor the prolific Baptist preacher and social justice activist. The prerecorded program was broadcast on Friday, Jan. 13.

“This is not just a day of remembrance. This is an annual reminder that we all have a year-round obligation to fulfill the ideals of justice and equality set forth by Dr. King,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic, who emceed the program.

Christopher Young, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Strategy and Ventures at Microsoft Corp., was the keynote speaker. A Cleveland-area native, he is one of the most influential Black leaders in the technology industry. He leads Microsoft’s long-term growth strategy and serves on the board of directors for American Express and as a member of the Cybersecurity Advisory Committee for the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

The theme of this year’s community celebration is based on a quote from a 1959 speech Dr. King delivered in Montgomery, Ala.: “No greater tragedy can befall a people than to rest complacently on some past achievement. Noble yesterdays must always be challenges to more creative tomorrows.”

The virtual celebration also featured a musical performance by the male vocal ensemble Elégie, and remarks by Jacqui Robertson, Chief Diversity Officer at Cleveland Clinic. Interfaith reflections were provided by LaRese Purnell, co-owner and managing partner of CLE Consulting Firm; Rabbi Susan Stone, Temple Beth Shalom of Hudson; and Rev. Louie Hendon, executive pastor of Mega Church.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023 will mark the 55th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination. In the decades since his tragic death, his legacy of servant leadership continues to inspire hope and action to promote health, racial and social equity.

“As the state’s largest employer, we have an ethical obligation to use our resources for the good of the community,” said Dr. Mihaljevic. “Through partnerships with the state and local governments, community leaders, concerned citizens and other healthcare organizations, we are making a difference.”

These efforts include:

To watch the program, visit

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 72,500 employees worldwide are more than 5,050 salaried physicians and researchers, and 17,800 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,500-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 22 hospitals, more than 220 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2021, there were 10.2 million total outpatient visits, 304,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 259,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at Follow us at News and resources available at

Editor’s Note: Cleveland Clinic News Service is available to provide broadcast-quality interviews and B-roll upon request.