The city of Chandler’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division recently hosted a private reception to celebrate the winners of the inaugural Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards program.
The awards program honors the accomplishments of Chandler area residents, including youth who contribute significantly to creating a compassionate and socially just community through their dedication to human and civil rights, according to a press release.
Three honorees were recognized on Jan. 13, along with a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient.
“One of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most important principles was service,” said Dr. William Crawford, chair of the MLK Awards Committee. “The award recipients have demonstrated a commitment to the service of others and to making a difference in our community. Clearly, they are deserving of this prestigious recognition.”
In addition to the awards presentation, attendees heard from the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Karen Hardin, president of NAACP – Maricopa County Branch.
The winners are:
• Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Achievement Award presented to John Prothro: Prothro is a Chandler Unified School District educator who uses his voice to advocate for social justice with the desire of bringing intentional change within his spheres of excellence.
• Emma Arbuckle Empowerment Award presented to Shirley White: White, a longtime Chandler resident, is the embodiment of a person who is unselfish, unbiased, devoted to helping others and the building of community.
• Youth Action Award presented to Kanix Gallo: Gallo (he/him) is a Chandler student dedicated to the advocacy of others who feel they do not have a voice. He often speaks up and works on behalf of others in need.
• Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Glen LaVon Woods: Woods is a co-founder of the South Chandler Self-Help Foundation, Inc. and is a former community organizer and director of the Chandler Community Action Program. She organized the first Black History Celebration in Chandler, as well as the annual Miss Juneteenth Pageant. Thousands have been touched by her efforts and given encouragement through the Black History and Juneteenth celebrations.