Jackie Robinson Family YMCA

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Dignity Award Event

The 36th Annual

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Human Dignity Award Event 

Thursday, January 14, 2021


Sponsor Recognition: 5:30 PM to 6:00 PM
Event: 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM



Join us as we pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His words and selfless actions continue to be an inspiration and never-ending call-to-action for tolerance and peace with each new generation.

Human Dignity Award

The YMCA's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Dignity Award is annually bestowed upon a person who exemplifies Dr. King's work and character. The inaugural award was given to Rufus DeWitt, the first African-American executive director in our YMCA association who served at the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA in the 1960s.

Subsequent honorees continue to embody Dr. King's spirit and humanitarian ideals. All nominees are submitted for recognition by their peers and are chosen by a prestigious committee that includes past recipients.

2020 Human Dignity Award Winner: Dee Sanford 

We are proud to announce this year's Human Dignity Award Winner, Dee Sanford. Sanford has been a pillar in the community for decades. She was raised in Southeastern San Diego, graduating from Lincoln High School and San Diego State University. Her professional journey began in 1976 after graduating college to become the first Black woman in outside sales for Pacific Telephone locally. With a lack of Black female mentors to help her navigate the corporate world, Sanford leaned on her father, James McCann, General Dynamic’s first Black manager in San Diego in the 1960s. This led her to a successful 20-year career in telecommunications before starting her consulting company, Dee Sanford International, in 1994.

Sanford’s savvy for consulting in customer service, sales, business/presentation skills and professional development led her to many opportunities. She became an adjunct professor for several local colleges and universities. Additionally, she saw a need for professional networking organizations for Black business women and men in San Diego. She pioneered and led multiple efforts to fill this gap for more than 14 years. Sanford also created and hosted popular public access TV and radio shows designed to help provide affordable exposure for small businesses and non-profits.

Sanford has proudly served on the Jackie Robinson Family YMCA board for more than 30 years, a family legacy her father started. She has also served as Chair of the MLK breakfast since 1999. Throughout her career, she has received numerous recognitions for her contributions to community. As her “last assignment,” Sanford recently retired after 11 years at Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary.

“Dee Sanford has been an amazing force and shining light for not only our Jackie Robinson Family YMCA, but our community at-large,” said Baron Herdelin-Doherty, President & CEO of the YMCA of San Diego County. “To say she exemplifies the work and character of Dr. King is an understatement. We are thrilled to honor her with the 2020 Human Dignity Award.”

Watch the 2020 Human Dignity Award Acceptance Speech. 

Event Timeline:

  • 5:30 PM - Sponsor Recognition
  • 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM - Program and Award Presentation

2021 Speaker: Assembly Member Dr. Shirley Nash Weber

Assembly Member Shirley Nash Weber was elected in November of 2012 to represent California's 79th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Bonita, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and San Diego.

Born to sharecroppers of Hope, Arkansas, Shirley Weber has lived in California since the age of three. She attended UCLA, where she received her BA, MA and Ph.D. by the age of 26. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she became a professor at San Diego State University (SDSU) at the age of 23. Dr. Weber also taught at California State University at Los Angeles and Los Angeles City College before coming to San Diego State University.

Dr. Weber chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety. She also serves as a member of the Assembly Standing Committees on Education, Higher Education, Elections, Budget and Banking and Finance.

Prior to being elected to the Assembly, she served as the mayor's appointee and Chair on the Citizens' Equal Opportunity Commission. Dr. Weber has also served on the Board of the NAACP, YWCA, YMCA Scholarship Committee, Battered Women Services, United Way, San Diego Consortium and Private Industry Council and many more.

Assembly Member Weber has lived in the 79th Assembly District for over 30 years. Her children attended public school in the district and she was elected to the school board. As a board member, and subsequent board president, she became known for her advocacy for closing the achievement gap and a higher standard of excellence for all children.

From 2005-2006, Dr. Weber hosted a popular weekly radio program weekly entitled, "It's a New Day with Dr. Shirley Weber," on KURS AM 1040. The program was broadcast live throughout San Diego and internationally over the internet. In 2006, she aired her program live from Johannesburg, South Africa, sharing her students' perspectives and those of local South Africans. Dr. Weber has lectured throughout the United States, Caribbean and Africa.

Assembly Member Weber is the mother of two children and the widow of the late Honorable Daniel Weber, a California state judge.

Sponsorship Opportunities

  • $10,000 - Dream Sponsor
    • Logo recognition in event banner
    • Logo on all printed materials
    • Premium full-page, four-color program advertisement
  • $5,000 - Freedom Sponsorship
    • Logo recognition in event program
    • Full-page, black and white program advertisement
  • $2,500 - Equality Sponsorship
    • Logo recognition in event program
    • Half-page, black and white program advertisement
  • $1,200 - Inspiration Sponsorship
    • Name recognition in event program
    • Quarter-page, black and white program advertisement
  • $600 - Dignity Sponsorship

Program Advertisement Only

  • $350 - Full-page Black and White Advertisement
    • Image requirements: 8" wide by 10" height at 300 dpi
  • $250 - Half-page Black and White Advertisement
    • Image requirements: 8" wide by 5" height at 300 dpi
  • $150 - Quarter-page Black and White Advertisement
    • Image requirements: 4" wide by 5" height at 300 dpi
  • $75 - Business Card Advertisement
    • Image requirements: 3.5" wide by 2" height at 300 dpi
  • $25 - Patron Text Listing
    • Text only, 200 characters maximum

For questions on advertisements or for more information on sponsorships, email Anna Arancibia at [email protected] or call (619) 264-0144. Deadline for artwork submission is December 28, 2020. Please send high resolution images (minimum of 300 dpi) of any file type as an email attachment to [email protected]

Event Registration

Personal Information

Select Level of Sponsorship and/or Program Advertisement

Sponsorship includes public recognition.