The City of Phoenix celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory with an awards program and breakfast recognizing community leaders who work to make Phoenix a better place, including two locals affiliated with ASU.
Madelaine Adelman, an ASU associate professor, was one of six recipients of the Living the Dream Award for her work in ensuring gay students are treated fairly in school. Adelman is a co-founder and co-chair of the Phoenix chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
“So many of us that are part of the ASU community are direct beneficiaries of Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy,” Adelman said.
Adelman went on to say she likes to think award recipients and community members at the event are trying to create a community where the values of King are illustrated every day.
Donald Campbell, a retired ASU professor, received the same award. Campbell volunteers with various mentorship programs, including an education program for high school dropouts called Project Challenge. Campbell has also served on the Roosevelt Elementary School District Governing Board and the Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board.
Mayor Greg Stanton began the 26th annual awards breakfast with a brief speech. Stanton said the awards event was a “unique opportunity to recognize local heroes who are serving others,” as well as to “reflect on the life and legacy of MLK.”
Community leaders, legislators, students from local schools, corporate representatives and past award recipients were all in attendance.
The Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement Award, named for the former city councilman who fought to make King’s birthday a holiday, went to Gene Blue in recognition of his 40 years of service to the community.
Other Living the Dream winners were: Wil Counts, a contributor to the south Phoenix community and one of the founders of South Mountain Community College, Carnella Hardin, vice-chair of FIBCO Family Services, Inc., Adam Lopez-Falk, co-founder of the Granada Neighborhood Partnership and a governing board member of the Alhambra Elementary School District, and Jerry Oliver II, a detective for the Phoenix Police Department.
Diane D’Angelo, Human Relations Commission chairperson, spoke before the award winners were recognized and encouraged the audience to “let these awards inspire your own bravery.”
“It’s time to occupy our hearts,” D’Angelo said.
The event, sponsored by the Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and supported by the Phoenix Human Relations Commission, took place at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel early Friday morning. There will be a series of events in January and February that are also part of the MLK celebrations, including art exhibits, marches and a candlelight ceremony.
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