Monday as the city of Tempe celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it also held a ceremony to honor those who continue the civil rights icon’s work.
Dr. Neal Lester, a professor at Arizona State University and Founding Director of Project Humanities initiative at ASU, was recognized with a Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity award at the City of Tempe's Diversity Awards Breakfast.
The MLK holiday is meant to celebrate Dr. King's efforts to promote civil rights while also recognizing those who work towards carrying on Dr. King's legacy.
Lester’s Project Humanities initiative is a program that trains students and community members to develop more compassion, kindness and forgiveness in their lives and work.
"It’s quite an honor to be part of an event dedicated to someone who was so committed to equity and equality and not just in terms of race but in terms of all communities of difference,” Lester told 12 News.
Part of that work involves bringing together people to serve the homeless every other Saturday.
"It’s when people see the work you’re doing is worthy of recognition and its nice and its humbling and encouraging but you have to do the work,” Lester said.