Jan. 3, 2013
Celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday at the 27th annual MLK Awards Breakfast, “Stand Up for Justice,” 7 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. Third St. Doors open at 6:30 a.m.
The event recognizes one winner for the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award and five individuals for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream Award who have made Phoenix a better place to live through a lifelong commitment to creating a compassionate and socially just society.
Recipients are Carole Coles Henry for the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award and Ervin Cutright, Kenja Hassan, Lin Ling Lee, Lakhwinder Singh (Rana) Sodhi and Robert L. Williams for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream awards.
The Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award recognizes an exceptional individual who has made Phoenix a better place through a lifelong dedication to promoting social and economic justice, defending civil rights and enhancing the dignity of all people. The award is named for former Phoenix City Councilman Calvin C. Goode, who worked to ensure these rights for all residents during his 22-year tenure with the council. It was during Goode’s service to the city that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday was created.
Carole Coles Henry, the recipient of the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement Award, is being recognized for her more than 20 years of leadership and service to the community. A former city of Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department Director and longtime public servant, Henry worked to eliminate discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations. Also, she was instrumental in creating the city’s Faces of Diversity Brown Bag lecture series, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Relations Awards Program, and the International Women’s Day and Young Man and Woman of the Year programs.
In addition to mentoring students and young leaders in the fields of education, public service, and social work for 20 years, Henry led a 2009 effort to reopen the South Phoenix Youth Center and provide youth leadership development and educational services at the center. In addition, she has served as a member of the Governor’s Juvenile Justice Advisory Council for the Arizona Supreme Court, the Arizona Supreme Court Commission on Minorities and the Arizona Attorney General’s African American Advisory Council.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream awards recognize five individuals who embody Dr. King’s ideas through their personal commitment to human relations and justice.
The 2013 recipients are:
- Ervin Cutright has demonstrated a personal commitment to his community by dedicating more than 500 volunteer hours annually to organizing neighborhood tutoring programs for young athletes and at-risk youth. A licensed minister, educator and community leader, Cutright launched an annual back-to-school event at Arizona State University West to encourage students, acknowledge their achievements and provide them vital information from seasoned professionals in their fields of study. Cutright also has created a scholarship program that provides needed financial support for deserving college students. In addition, his efforts to increase public awareness of health issues such as diabetes and hypertension have improved the lives of Phoenix residents.
- Kenja Hassan of the Arizona State University Office of Public Affairs integrates her commitment to community and racial equality in all her work. As ASU’s Community Liaison, she created a college-preparation program for more than 800 American Indian youth living in remote areas of the state. She also was instrumental in the creation of the report, “State of Black Arizona” by ASU and the Phoenix Urban League that documents the African American community’s progress and concerns as part of the Arizona community. The work inspired the local Asian, Latino and Native American communities to compile similar reports for their own cultures. Hassan has organized community cleanups, house painting projects and neighborhood fairs in the east Van Buren corridor and has fostered relationships between ASU and the area’s neighborhood associations, organizations and school boards.
- Lin Ling Lee is the principal at the Arizona Chinese Mandarin and Culture Academy and chairs the Phoenix Sister Cities Taipei Sister Cities Committee. She has served as a community volunteer for more than 18 years, providing cultural awareness education to more than 40 elementary schools, high schools, community colleges and universities and at libraries, children’s and historical museums and community organizations in Phoenix and throughout Arizona. By devoting her time and talents to youth development and to promoting diversity awareness, Lee has increased the quality of life of Phoenix residents.
- Lakhwinder Singh (Rana) Sodhi has made it his mission to spread peace and understanding by working to educate Phoenix-area residents about hate crimes and Sikh values and culture. He is actively involved with the Sikh Advisory Board to Law Enforcement, the Global Sikh Alliance and the Phoenix Community Engagement and Outreach Task Force to eliminate hatred, discrimination and injustice. Over the past decade, Sodhi has devoted his energy to producing educational programs and events that teach tolerance and respect for all people, including the video, ”A Dream in Doubt,” on the Sikh community experience. His commitment to social justice has allowed him to share Dr. King’s message of nonviolence to schools, community groups and law enforcement and religious organizations.
- Robert L. Williams, a deacon at First Institutional Baptist Church, is a longtime member of the Arizona Council of the Blind and served for five years as a member of the Governor’s Council on Blindness and Visual Impairment. Williams’ professional career included service as controller of the Maricopa County Community Service Department’s Community Action Agency. Also, he has served on his church’s scholarship committee to ensure that deserving students receive needed financial support to continue their education. As an advocate and mentor, Williams has spent a lifetime working to ensure equal opportunity and to enhance the quality of life for people with disabilities.
The event is sponsored by the Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and supported by the Phoenix Human Relations Commission. The awards breakfast is one event in a series of activities throughout the month of January to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Cost for the event is $65 per person or $650 for a table of 10. The reservation deadline is 4 p.m. Jan. 14. To receive a reservation form or obtain additional information about this or other King holiday events, call 602-254-5081 or email email@example.com.