> Home > 2013 News Releases > Community Celebrating Diversity names three 2013 Champions

Community Celebrating Diversity names three 2013 Champions

Community Celebrating Diversity logo

  Jan. 3, 2013   


  Contact:  Ann Achtziger, Diversity Champions Committee Chair,
                602-373-3488, aachtziger@susd.org 

Community Celebrating Diversity names three 2013 Champions

A former Scottsdale mayor, a diversity nonprofit founder and a community college educator have been named the 2013 Diversity Champions by the nonprofit group Community Celebrating Diversity.
Mary Manross, Christine French and Darrell Copp will be honored at Scottsdale’s 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at Chaparral Suites, 5001 N. Scottsdale Road.

Here is information about the 2013 Diversity Champions:

Mary Manross
A two-term mayor of Scottsdale, Manross has devoted her life to creating an environment where diversity is embraced and respected. In 1998, the city was thrust into the national spotlight when its Police Department was accused of practicing institutional racism. Manross, who served on the City Council at the time, took a leadership role in addressing the issue. She sat at the table with allies and critics. She ultimately supported the city manager’s recommendation that Scottsdale establish the organization’s first Office of Diversity and Dialogue. This was the first such office for an Arizona municipality and one of the first in the nation. When that office was targeted for elimination in 2000, Manross, by now the mayor, challenged this political position by asserting that the city’s commitment to diversity is mission critical. Another diversity incident related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in 2005 rocked the city. The perception that Scottsdale wasn’t LGBT-friendly threatened the tourism industry. Manross reached out to this group’s leadership to reach compromises that were agreeable to all sides. Since leaving office, Manross has continued to stay active in the community and with diversity issues. As a member of the Scottsdale school district’s “Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee, she has been tasked to help develop a diversity plan for the district. 

Christine French
French’s life work is about nonviolence, unity and respect for all people. She is a charter founder of the Diversity Leadership Alliance, a nonprofit organization providing diversity education. French partners with business leaders to create diversity strategies, charters and manages diversity councils in the U.S. and abroad. The Alliance’s monthly workshops attract more than 150 participates from the corporate world to government employees, to individuals simply interested in learning about the topic. More than 2,000 gather for the Alliance’s annual conference. The organization provides workshops for high school students to discuss topics such as inclusion, problem solving, communication and team building. French’s nominator says, “This Diversity Champion is a shining beacon of what a lifetime of pursuing justice for all looks like. She is the personification of the work that Dr. King started many years ago.”

Darrell Copp
A Scottsdale Community college Language and Communication faculty member for 23 years, Copp has touched the lives of thousands of students and hundreds of employees – empowering each to be their best, to do their best and to be a positive force in the world. Copp is a member of the college Inclusiveness Council. In that role, he helps guide the school to become a more welcoming, caring and supportive place for students, employees and community members. He has been a passionate advocate for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues and was instrumental in creating an employee organization known as Equality Maricopa. Copp manages the SCC Angel Trees gift-giving effort and offers his professional talent and time to help members of the Women’s Leadership Group Mentee program. “Copp epitomizes the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for nonviolence, unity and respect for all people. He is passionate and articulate, a gentleman scholar, Darrell Copp is SCC’s Diversity Champion,” says his nominator.

About the Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration
Business leader and child advocate Steve Pemberton will the keynote speaker. He is the chief diversity officer and divisional vice president for Walgreens, the first person to hold that responsibility in the company’s 110-year history. Tickets to the event are $60 per person. To reserve a seat or for more information, call 480-312-3030 or visit www.ccdarizona.org.