Scottsdale to pay tribute to King legacy, spirit - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Scottsdale to pay tribute to King legacy, spirit

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Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008 9:32 pm | Updated: 10:43 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored in Scottsdale next month with several activities sponsored by the city, the Scottsdale Unified School District and Community Celebrating Diversity.

Renowned civil rights activist Susan L. Taylor will speak at two Scottsdale events.

"I'm thrilled to have Susan come speak because I think she's a good example of Dr. Martin Luther King's dream manifested," said Velicia McMillan, director of the city's Diversity and Dialogue Office and co-chairman of the MLK planning committee.

In addition to the events, the city is looking for nominations for "diversity champions."

The deadline for submitting a nomination is 5 p.m. today. Nomination forms can be obtained at 7575 E. Main St., or e-mail Sandra Esquivias at

Nominees should symbolize King's character, and either live, work or volunteer in Scottsdale.

Seven nominations had been filed as of Wednesday, according to McMillan.

Other upcoming events in Scottsdale celebrating King's birthday, the federal, state and city holiday for which is Jan. 19, include:

Susan L. Taylor will address high school students on the importance of service and selfless acts at Coronado High School on Jan. 9 at 2 p.m. Taylor will also be the keynote speaker at the King celebration dinner later that night.

Taylor is editor emeritus of Essence Magazine and founder of the National Cares Mentoring Movement. She received the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's President's award for visionary leadership.

"(Taylor) is an excellent motivator in terms of encouraging others and getting them to see the value of their lives," McMillan said.

The 15th annual Scottsdale Community Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration will be held at the Chaparral Suites 5:30 p.m. Jan. 9. Tickets are $60. To reserve a seat, call (480) 312-3030.

"If some people aren't familiar with Susan, but they are familiar with our past keynote speakers, I think they would be missing out on an opportunity if they do not attend," McMillan said.

Some previous keynote speakers included King's son, Martin Luther King III, and King's widow, the late Coretta Scott King.

The award-winning documentary "Brother Outsider" will be featured during the Peace and Community Day from noon to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at Scottsdale Civic Center Mall.

Besides the documentary, the event will also feature entertainment, arts and crafts, family activities, food and refreshments. The Pete Pancrazi Quartet and jazz vocalist Dennis Rowland will perform throughout the event aswell.

"The event gives us an opportunity to celebrate the past and celebrate those who are in the present who are in the spirit of Dr. King," McMillan said.

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