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Two-time aviation hall of famer headlines Scottsdale’s MLK Jr. Dinner Celebration

Author and two-time aviation hall of fame inductee William “Bill” Norwood will be theMLK, Bill Norwood keynote speaker at the Scottsdale 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration. 

Norwood was the first African-American pilot at United Airlines. He spent 31 years there, retiring as a captain. He is best known for his book, “Cleared for Takeoff: A Pilot’s Story of Challenges and Triumphs.” 

At the MLK Dinner, Norwood will share his story about breaking barriers and developing our future leaders – the inspiration for the evening’s focus. This celebration of Dr. King’s vision and contributions will also feature Scottsdale’s Diversity Champion Awards and Youth Scholarship recipients.

The annual event will be Wednesday, Jan. 11. Registration and reception begin at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and recognition at 6 p.m. This year’s event will be held at Henkel Corporation, 7201 E. Henkel Way, in Scottsdale. Tickets can be purchased at ScottsdaleMLK.links to external site The cost is $60 per person. Community Celebrating Diversity hosts the event and APS sponsors it. 

Norwood was a former college quarterback, who received an honorary doctorate in aviation science from Southern Illinois University. He is also recognized for his extensive contributions for the “Black Wings” exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. 

Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s work for civil and human rights through a community celebration is an important step Scottsdale takes to recognize the challenges we face and to honor diversity in our community. In addition to the MLK Jr. Community Dinner Celebration, Community Celebrating Diversity also sponsors the following program in honor of King: 

Diversity Champions:

Diversity Champions are individuals who exemplify the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and who have enriched the Scottsdale community through their work and/or volunteerism by empowering others. They are honored each year at the MLK Jr. Community Celebration. Eligible nominees must work, live or volunteer in Scottsdale. The nomination deadline is noon Friday, Nov. 11. Nomination forms are available online.links to external site

About Community Celebrating Diversity (CCD):

CCD is a Scottsdale-based nonprofit organization that sponsors educational and community events to celebrate and create a greater awareness of our community’s diversity. Its mission is to enhance the perception and understanding of diversity, provide opportunities for citizens to recognize our similarities and to acknowledge our differences, and to seek respect for the values of others and the oneness of humanity.

For sponsorship information, contact Event Manager Lauren Smith.


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