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PHOENIX (January 18, 2019)—Arizona OIC (AzOIC) announced today at the 33rd Annual Arizona Martin Luther King Jr. Awards and Scholarship Breakfast the 2019 award recipients. Thelma Hall Williams was named the Community Service awardee; this year’s Living the Dream awardees include Audrey Bell-Jenkins, Kathryn Boris, Marlene Haller, Dr. Neal Lester, Benjamin Taylor II, Esq. and Janelle Wood; and Ron Williams received the 2019 Calvin C. Goode, Sr. Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Town of Paradise Valley will observe and celebrate Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 21, 2019 at the Town Hall with a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. and luncheon immediately following.
During the ceremony, Dr. Neal A Lester, Foundation Professor of English and Founding Director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University, will be awarded the Paradise Valley MLK 2019 Diversity Award for dedicating his life trying to change people’s unconscious as well as conscious attitudes toward race and class by looking inward and discovering how a sense of privilege “may inform our decisions and control our actions.”
Dr. Neal A. Lester is an accomplished and respected community leader who promotes the values of talking, listening, and connecting through Project Humanities, an organization he founded, and its Humanity 101 initiative.
The Phoenix Human Relations Commission, in collaboration with the Phoenix Equal Opportunity Department, recognizes the accomplishments of people who have made an impact on the quality of life of Phoenix residents and contributed significantly to creating a compassionate and socially just community with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living The Dream Awards and Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement Award.
Diversity Leadership Alliance is the premier Diversity Education organization in Arizona. We provide thought-provoking Diversity training, leadership guidance and continued support to help cultivate an inclusive community where each individual is valued and respected.
Neal A. Lester, Foundation Professor of English and the founding director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University, has been selected to receive the Francis Andrew March Award from the Modern Language Association. The award recognizes exceptional service to the profession of English. Professor Lester will receive the honor at the association’s meeting in Vancouver in January.
Dr. Lester joined the faculty at Arizona State in 1997. He is the author of several books including Once Upon a Time in a Different World: Issues and Ideas in African American Children’s Literature (Routledge, 2007).
Professor Lester was the valedictorian of his graduating class at the University of West Georgia. He holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in English from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.