2018 Featured Speaker
Ken E. Nwadike Jr. headlines the 24th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration.
Ken E. Nwadike Jr.
Ken E. Nwadike Jr.
Ken E. Nwadike Jr is a peace activist, inspirational speaker, and video journalist popularly known as the Free Hugs Guy. Ken is the founder of the Free Hugs Project, which gained popularity as Nwadike made major news headlines for his peacekeeping efforts and de-escalation of violence during protests, riots, and political rallies.
map icon

Event Info

Tuesday January 9, 2018

5:00pm | Registration/Reception
6:00pm | Doors Open

The Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch
7700 East McCormick Parkway
Scottsdale AZ, 85258

MLK Celebration

The evolution of Scottsdale MLK Dinner was initiated by CCD’s founding member, Sandra Rembrandt. Ms. Rembrandt’s vision was for Scottsdale to host its own Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration. In the early 1990’s, members from across the valley traveled to Phoenix to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday. Ms. Rembrandt had a passion for Dr. King’s legacy and felt citizens from the Scottsdale community would take pride in hosting a celebration in its own community. Today, Scottsdale’s celebration serves as a signature celebration for the entire valley that includes national renowned speakers representing a myriad of diversity perspectives honoring the history and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Dinner Celebration:

If you didn’t have the opportunity to attend this year's MLK Celebration Dinner, you can still enjoy the program by watching it here or view the photos from the event.

"Be the Light" was chosen as the 2018 centerpiece theme

This year’s theme was "Be the Light". Michelle Peacock, Art Instructor at Saguaro High School and her students created the centerpieces. Students were asked to select an inspirational quote about overcoming adversity and expressed it through sculptural form.

The centerpieces were designed to be interactive. Dinner guests were able to use their metal dinner utensils to light them up.

Below is a small sampling of the centerpieces to be enjoyed by everyone.

2018 MLK Planning Committee

2018 - MLK Planning Committee
(L-R) Front Row: Lauren Smith, Susan Hagen-Smith, Kathy Jackson, Jim Ford, Jan Gehler, Ken Nwadike, Kevin Richardson, Helen Gándara, Peter Rusin, Maria Luna, Michelle Marshall, Kristy Hahn-McDonald
(L-R) Back Row: Ray Brooks, Jeff Harris, Mark Hiegel, Marion Kelly, Michelle Pabis, Clif McKenzie, Alan Rodbell, Joe Rusin