Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration to honor two 2017 Diversity Champions

Scottsdale-based Community Celebrating Diversity will honor the founder of a nonprofit agency and an advocate for those with disabilities as its 2017 Diversity Champions at Scottsdale’s 23rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dinner Celebration, a posting on the city of Scottsdale's website said.

Linda Groomes Walton, founder and CEO of Achieving My Purpose, and Gina Griffiths, director of programs at Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS), will be honored at the Jan. 11 celebration at Henkel Corp., 7201 E. Henkel Way in Scottsdale.

Walton, an author and an advocate for women, helps young women of color embrace their purpose in life. She has worked with Maricopa County Community College’s Women’s Rising Program, which supports the district’s female students, and has collaborated with Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center to extend its reach. She also is involved in numerous other community groups and her impact aligns with the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Griffiths is director of programs at STARS, where she works to improve the lives of individuals with developmental and cognitive disabilities. She represents community groups such as Neighborhood Outreach Access to Health and the Executive Committee for the Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities, where she advocates for statewide positive changes to special-needs services. She is also an active member of the Arizona Employment First Initiative Core Team, which helps increase employment and success opportunities for those with special needs.

The keynote speaker for the celebration will be author and two-time National Aviation Hall of Fame inductee William “Bill” Norwood, the first African-American pilot for United Airlines.

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