Diversity Champions are individuals who exemplify the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and who have enriched the community by empowering others. Individuals are nominated by others in the community and selected Diversity Champions are honored each year at the MLK Jr. Community Celebration. Eligible nominees must work, live or volunteer in Scottsdale.
2020 Diversity Champions
Forty-two Diversity Champions have been honored since the program’s 2001 inception.
As a regional banker district manager for Wells Fargo, Rosa Casas has been instrumental in showing team members how to see value in our differences and encourage an inclusive workplace. She has led the Latin Connection Network and helped organize multiple events that promote diversity and encourage team members to engage and connect. Casas also has an amazing passion for volunteering and supporting the community. She regularly gives back individually or helps organize groups to give their time and hard work to charity organizations in Scottsdale and other parts of the Valley.
Shannon Paloma has taught social studies for seven years at Arcadia High School where she has served as the Student Government sponsor for three years and has been the African American Student Union (AASU) sponsor for the past four years. In September, thanks in part to her leadership, the Arcadia AASU received the “Next Generation Change Agent Award” at the NAACP Freedom Funds Awards. Paloma always puts students first, and she consistently has shown, through her deeds and her words, a passion for promoting an environment of inclusion and equity.
Peter Rusin exemplifies the values and teaching of Dr. King and has committed himself to the health and welfare of children, and especially those less fortunate, for most of his career. His work in minority communities and his outreach to ensure all are included make him a very deserving recipient for this recognition. Rusin started Horsense, a horse riding and alternative after-school program that teaches responsibility and respect. Now, in its 20th year of serving students from title 1 schools, Horsense has impacted more than 2,000 young people who would not otherwise have had an opportunity to learn life skills through equine experiences. Rusin has also been part of CCD for about 20 years performing the role of treasurer for many of those years and has worked tirelessly to bring Scottsdale's annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration dinner to fruition each year.
Past Diversity Champions
Frances Ann Burruel
Lee and Ray Silverman
Jim and Cindy Hill
Lin Ling Lee
Meghan & Manali Ghave