PHOTO: Elizabeth Williams-Riley will be keynote speaker at 27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast.

SHREWSBURY, NJ - Elizabeth Williams-Riley, President & CEO for the American Conference on Diversity, will be the keynote speaker at the 27th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast hosted by The YMCA of Western Monmouth County and The Community YMCA.

The annual YMCA event, which honors the legacy of the civil rights leader, will take place Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, 8 to 10 a.m., at Branches Catering, 123 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch.

Cynthia Joy, President and CEO of the YMCA of Western Monmouth County, said “We are proud to be part of an organization that is committed to strengthening community, and there is no better message about the legacy of service than Dr. King.”  

“Dr. King said ‘Greatness is determined by service.’ In that spirit, the Y continues to strengthen individuals and our community,” said Rhonda Anderson, President and CEO of The Community YMCA.

Ms. Williams-Riley brings more than two decades of experience in education, training and consulting on diversity matters working with corporate, business, community and school groups, nationally and on the local level. She was recently named Girls Scouts of America Jersey Shore 2015 Woman of Distinction, 2013 Woman Worth Watching and is featured in the September issue of Diversity Journal. She is also a 2014 Lead New Jersey Fellow.

Ms. Williams-Riley has also served as lead facilitator in a number of national initiatives, working with diversity professionals as well as business professionals to examine the impact of bias and prejudice in their schools, workplaces, faith communities, and neighborhoods. Her community work includes designing and implementing conferences, special events, trainings, interfaith events, community dialogue forums, cultural awareness events, and city-wide multicultural celebrations for thousands of individuals and groups from all segments of the community.

This year, the service project for the breakfast will support the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean County and donations of non-perishable food will be collected at the breakfast.

The memorial event will include musical selections and presentations to high school students selected as winners of an essay contest and scholarship.

High school students participating in programs at The Community YMCA or The Western Monmouth County YMCA are encouraged to enter the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest and a new scholarship contest sponsored by the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association.

The deadline for applications for the essay contest is December 21, 2015. Submissions and questions may be sent via e-mail to and essays for the Monmouth County Chiefs of Police Association scholarship must be submitted by January 11, 2016 to The police association will present two scholarships. For more information, call Jo Ann Rountree at The Community YMCA at 732.784.6620 or e-mail

Seating for the breakfast is limited; please RSVP by January 8, 2016. Tickets are $30 per adult, $10 per youth (12 & under) or $250 per table of 10 and are available online at

For more information, call Michelle Born at 732.462.0464 extension 125, or e-mail