Sterling Heights

Sterling Heights seeks champions of diversity for annual awards ceremony

Know someone that champions diversity in Sterling Heights? The city’s Ethnic Community Committee wants to hear from you.

The 14th annual Diversity Distinction Awards are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 30, at the Century Banquet Center, which is located within the American Polish Century Club in Sterling Heights. But first, organizers want the community’s help in identifying which individuals and organizations are deserving of an award.

Nominations are currently underway via the Sterling Heights website and remain open until Friday, Aug. 27.

Those eligible would be the Sterling Heights residents, businesses, and organizations doing business in the city that are championing diversity in the community. According to the committee, this can be represented in a variety of ways, including those that “recruit, retain, and advance people of various diverse backgrounds; incorporate workplace diversity into corporate goals and/or performance measures; and/or show a commitment to diversity through philanthropic contributions.”

“As a committee, we recognize that community members do so much to further understanding and respect among the many cultures and ethnicities that call the city of Sterling Heights home,” Ethnic Community Committee Chairperson Carmen Williams said in a release.

“We believe it is most appropriate that the individuals’ and organizations’ efforts be recognized by the mayor, city council, ethnic committee and fellow residents.”

Last year’s event recognized the work of five Sterling Heights residents at a city council meeting; the annual dinner was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those honored included Malcolm Charles, who formed the Stomp Racism student-led group; Ted Amsden, a senior consultant with The Leadership Group who has been working on diversity efforts for nearly three decades; Stephen Slancik and the staff of Schuchard Elementary, who started their first Cultural Celebration Day in 2019; and 11-year-old James Oh and eight-year-old Michaella Oh, two young residents who have participated in a number of cultural events, including the city’s Sterlingfest, Cultural Exchange, Memorial Day parade, and more.

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MJ Galbraith is a writer and musician living in Detroit. Follow him on Twitter @mikegalbraith.