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37th Annual Arizona MLK Celebration Honorees Announced


Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee will celebrate its 37th Annual Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards & Scholarship Breakfast, 7:15am Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, at the Phoenix Convention Center, North Ballroom.


The title sponsor is Amazon, and the event is presented by Verizon and PetSmart. Other top sponsors and supporters include: City of Phoenix; Arizona Public Service; Arizona Community Foundation; Suns Charities; Perkins Cole; Wells Fargo; Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport; and Arizona Cardinals; among others.


In association with City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission, an awards selection committee accepted nominations and selected one individual for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Calvin C. Goode“Lifetime Achievement Award and four individuals for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Living the Dream" Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award, named after the late Calvin C. Goode, a 22-year Phoenix City councilman, recognizes an individual who has made Phoenix a better place to live by promoting social and economic justice and civil rights. The Living the Dream Award honors individuals who embody the ideas of Dr. King through a personal commitment to human relations and justice.


The 2023 honorees are: Elizabeth Paulus (Lifetime Achievement Award); and Wen Chi Chiu, Sharis L. Erby, Cordero Holmes, and Dr. Will Moreland (Living The Dream Award).


The Commission's mission is to promote respect and understanding among all groups by eliminating discrimination throughout the city of Phoenix.


The Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center, headed by President/CEO Dr. Gene Blue, oversees and manages the AZ MLK, Jr. Celebration Committee.

Dr. Gene Blue shared, “To celebrate our 37th year is a true testament to the ongoing support of our sponsors, supporters and volunteers."


The Chair of the MLK Events and Activities, Ron Williams stated, “It’s been my honor to serve on this committee for over 20 years, and serve as Chair of activities for the last eight years. We’re excited to be back in person for our Major fundraiser for the year."


The Awards Breakfast co-chair and 2017 MLK Lifetime Achievement Awardee Valerie Churchwell shared, “We’re excited to celebrate the Arizona MLK Honorees that were selected by the City of Phoenix Human Relations Commission Awards Selection Committee, and I’m honored to co-chair the 2023 Celebration."

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