Aviation hall of fame inductee headlines Scottsdale’s MLK Jr. celebration

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

Mr. Norwood was the first African-American pilot at United Airlines, according to a press release. 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.”

William Norwood (submitted photo)

William Norwood (submitted photo)

At the MLK Dinner, Mr. Norwood will share his story about breaking barriers and developing 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 http://ccdarizona.org/. The cost is $60 per person. Community Celebrating Diversity hosts the event and APS sponsors it.

Mr. 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 Diversity Champions program.

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 at http://ccdarizona.org/mlk-event/diversity-champions/diversity-champion-nominate/.

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