The  2020 Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr . Series  

January 18, 2020  

Kenja Hassan,  Keynote Speaker

The 2020 Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is one  of four events  sponsored by the Northwest Black History Committee

Susan Casper of the Sonoran Living show will host the 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and Day of Service in Surprise Arizona.  Prof. Clay Dix, Keynote 
Steve Irvin, Emmy Award Winning ABC15 News Anchor Served as MC For The  2020 MLK Celebration and Day of Service Event
Kim Covington
Ch 12 News Anchor and Journalist   2015 "Evening With a King"  Keynote Presenter
Pavilion of Praise Choir
2017 MLK Celebration In Surprise

..."An Evening with a King" was sponsored by Northwest Black History Committee, headed by Ervin Cutright. During the evening, the Buffalo Soldiers of America Arizona Chapter presented colors, and several awards were handed out to local individuals and groups who represent the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Phoenix City Councilmember Michael Johnson received the Judge Jean Williams Community Service Award.

Nelson Mitchell, a 92-year-old Peoria resident and the last African-American survivor of Pearl Harbor received the Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented by former Peoria Councilmember Vicki Hunt.

As she presented the award, Hunt talked about Mitchell's talent at growing beautiful roses and his devotion to the church they both attend, Valley Community Church.

"I believe the reason he's still here," Hunt said jokingly, "is he's really listening, or he does a lot of work."

Mitchell said, "I'm gonna' work on ‘til the Lord calls me home."

West Valley attorney and Glendale resident Terrance Mead received the "Having a Dream" award.

Mead said King's legacy "is all about justice," and fairness.

"I am deeply honored," Mead said. "The NBHC particularly needs to be honored. The man we are honoring this evening gave up his life for his cause. My work is modest at best compared to what he has done."

Mead said he grew up with a very loving family in a good home, and his life has been very blessed.

"But I believe we all need to protest when we see something bad," he said. "Don't be afraid to go out and be do-gooders yourselves."

The last award, "Diversity and Community Engagement," went to the City of Peoria Diversity Committee. Cutright said the city had supported the NBHC for 15 years and members of the city's diversity committee had worked to promote diversity throughout the organization. Three city councilmembers - Tony Rivero, Ron Aames, and Carlo Leone - were present to receive the award, along with Human Resource Manager Lyman Lockett.

Rivero said MLK also paved the way for him through college and beyond.

Several dignitaries were in the audience, including the first African-American woman elected to a statewide post, Corporation Commissioner Sandra Kennedy.