ASU to host MLK awards breakfast with special guest broadway performers

Arizona State University will host the 30th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at 7 a.m., Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Memorial Union on ASU's Tempe campus. This invitation-only event will honor a community member and students who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in our community. The cast of "Motown" is excited to join the festivities to honor these individuals who are committed to creating a compassionate and socially just community.

Community leader Art Hamilton will be honored with the Servant-Leadership Award. Hamilton is the founder of the firm The Art Hamilton Group, LLC. Prior to the founding of the firm in 2008, Hamilton served 26 years in the Arizona House of Representatives. A groundbreaker and a leader, Hamilton was the first African-American and only Arizonan to be elected president of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Hamilton also led the NCSL task force to re-write state policies on how state governments deal with families and individuals wrestling with problems of the developmentally disabled.

The recipient of the Student Servant-Leadership award is ASU graduate student Rivka Rocchio, a community-based theater artist focused on theater as a means of cross-cultural communication. Currently in her second year of ASU's Theatre for Youth master's program, Rocchio continues to work throughout Arizona with people who are incarcerated and people who are homeless. Rocchio believes in creating placemaking that allows for artistic communities to flourish.

“Art and Rivka ... exemplify a dedication to our community to make it more diverse. These awards have become some of the most highly-prized, because they highlight and underscore the deep commitment and action being taken by our community to build better communities through the vision and legacy of Dr. King,” says Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, MLK Committee chair and executive director of ASU Gammage.

Twenty five students were selected as winners in the MLK Children’s Contest, a poster and essay contest for K-12 students from across Arizona. This year, more than 1,400 applicants submitted work that highlighted this year’s event theme: “Why Not You."

Winners include:

• Gabriel C., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Jack S., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Moses S., Glendale, Sweetwater Elementary School
• Arella P., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Areliz G., Mesa, Franklin West Elementary School
• Aaliyah Z., Casa Grande, McCartney Ranch Elementary School
• Ashlynn K., Gilbert, Ambassador Christian Academy
• Mia D., Paradise Valley, Ingleside Middle School
• Mikaila P., Mesa, Mesa Arts Academy
• Jorge J., Laveen, Trailside Point Elementary School
• MacKinzi B., Sahuarita, University High School
• Sheshna V., Tucson, University High School
• Judy Z., Tucson, University High School
• Aubrey B., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Preston S., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Lucas H., Laveen, Vista del Sur Traditional School
• Lindsay M., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Zak B., Tucson, Mesquite Elementary School
• MacKenzie M., Mesa, Las Sendas Elementary School
• Brady M., Mesa, Franklin at Brimhall Elementary School
• Alan R., Vista del Sur Traditional School
• Bri J., Pima JR. High School
• Collette W., Scottsdale, Chaparral High School
• Larissa V., Scottsdale, Chaparral High School
• Tiana U., Tucson, Desert View High School