Seven Valley residents were honored Monday for their lifelong commitment to creating a compassionate and socially just community at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards breakfast, "Stand Up For Justice."

The Arizona Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and the Phoenix Human Relations Commission recognized recipients of the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream award during the breakfast. Recipients were: Dr. Gene Blue for the Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award; and Dr. Madelaine Adelman, Dr. Donald Campbell, Dr. Wil Counts, Adam Lopez-Falk, Dr. Carnella Hardin, and Detective Jerry Oliver II for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Living the Dream award.

The Calvin C. Goode Lifetime Achievement award recognizes an exceptional individual who has made Phoenix a better place through a lifelong dedication to promoting social and economic justice, defending civil rights, and enhancing the dignity of all people. The award is named for former Phoenix City Councilman Calvin C. Goode, who worked to ensure these rights for all residents during his 22-year tenure on the City Council. It was during Goode's service to the city that the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. state holiday was created.

Blue, president and CEO of Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center (AOIC), is recognized for his 40 years of leadership and service to the community.

Adelmanis is co-founder and co-chair of the Phoenix chapter of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), a national nonprofit education organization whose mission is to create safe, inclusive schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Campbell has demonstrated a personal commitment to inner-city youth through his volunteer work with Project Challenge, an educational program for high school dropouts; Percy L. Julian Elementary School; and MentorKids USA, a mentoring program that matches caring adults with youth.

Counts' decades-long contributions to the south Phoenix community began in the 1970s with his opening and operating the TERROS drug rehabilitation center, which successfully treated and rehabilitated Hispanic, African-American and Native-American residents addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Hardin's commitment to racial equality and social justice has spanned her life and professional career. A community activist since the late 1960s, Hardin's many accomplishments include assisting needy city residents to access government services, helping prison inmates earn college credit while incarcerated and doubling minority enrollment in the Maricopa Community Colleges District during her tenure as a faculty member.

A fifth-generation Arizonan, Lopez-Falkis is dedicated to serving his community as well as engaging youth in community service.

Oliver is an Arizona native and 22-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department.

For more information, call (602) 495-0358/voice or (602) 534-1557/TTY, or visit phoenix.gov/eod.

• Beverly Stidham, (480) 898-7924 or bstidham@ahwatukee.com

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.