Oakland University Welcomes Actress Holly Robinson from 21 Jump Street

Actress Holly Robinson Peete to Keynote 2017 Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration

For its 25th annual Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration, Oakland University will welcome actress, author and talk show host Holly Robinson Peete to campus on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 16, 2017. 

“The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration is an event that we always look forward to here at Oakland University,” said Omar Brown-El, director of the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. “We are very excited about welcoming Holly Robinson Peete as our keynote speaker as we mark the 25th anniversary of this event, which honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Holly Robinson Peete

Holly Robinson Peete

With nearly 40 years in the entertainment industry, Robinson Peete is perhaps best known for her roles as Judy Hoffs on the Fox TV police drama 21 Jump Street, Vanessa Russell on the ABC sitcom Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper, and Dr. Malena Ellis on the NBC/WB sitcom For Your Love. She also had a recurring role on the hit comedy CBS series Mike & Molly.

She served as one of the original five co-hosts of the CBS daytime talk show The Talk and is starring alongside her family in the highly acclaimed docu-series For Peete’s Sake on the OWN Network.

In 1997, Robinson Peete and her husband, former NFL quarterback Rodney Peete, formed the HollyRod Foundation. Her philanthropic efforts have earned her numerous awards and honors, including Ford’s Freedom Sisters, American Mentor Award, The Southern California Broadcasters Association Community Service Award and many more.

Robinson Peete is also an accomplished author. For her first book, Get Your Own Damn BeerI’m Watching the Game: A Women’s Guide to Loving Pro Football (2005 Rodale), Robinson Peete won the 2006 Quill Literacy Award and a follow up to that book A #Crazy Football Momma’s Pocket Armchair Guide is in the works. In 2010, she released her second book, an NAACP Image Award winning children’s book entitled My Brother Charlie (Scholastic) about autism from the sibling’s perspective, co-authored by her daughter, then 12-year-old Ryan Elizabeth Peete. The follow up to My Brother Charlie is entitled Same But Different: Teen Life on The Autism Express (Scholastic).

Her longevity and visibility in the entertainment community has led Robinson Peete to a successful career as a trusted spokesperson for some of the country’s biggest brands. Her consumer and mom-friendly personal brand has partnered with Target, Toys”R”Us, Colgate, Skechers, EpiPen and Carnation among many others.


Established in 1993, The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration pays tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his pioneering work on behalf of civil rights. The event also awards scholarships to OU undergraduates who have contributed to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by breaking down racial and cultural barriers.

The Keeper of the Dream Awards Celebration is sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Initiatives. Scholarship sponsors include OU Credit Union, OU Alumni Association, Autoliv, Lynne & Lia McIntosh Scholarship Fund, Marshall Family Scholar Foundation and KeyBank Foundation.

For additional information, contact the Center for Multicultural Initiatives at cmi@oakland.edu or (248) 370-4404.

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