WEST VALLEY CITY Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is perhaps best known for his speech about a dream, but it was a speech he gave later that outlined "a practical road map for how to accomplish that dream," said Judge Shauna Graves-Robertson.
Many people speculate that in 1968, King was eulogizing himself with some foresight of his assassination when he delivered a sermon about the "drum major instinct," Graves-Robertson said Friday at the 2008 Drum Major Awards at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.
"If I can help somebody in need as I pass along," King said during the sermon, "If I can cheer somebody with a word or song, if I can show somebody he is travelling wrong, then my living will not be in vain."
Graves-Robertson said that whatever, the case, "the genius of Dr. King's leadership, however, is he believed we can all serve."
"Consider joining the band," she said. "Become a drum major and be willing to be selfless and to serve."
Sen. Ed Mayne, who died last year, was honored posthumously for his community service, as he advocated for working families, labor rights and the underprivileged. The Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and the Utah Office of Ethnic Affairs lauded Mayne's service.
Michael Styles, director of the Office of Black Affairs, called Mayne's dedication "evidence that Dr. King's dream is alive and well."
The other award recipients are:
• Utah first lady Mary Kaye Huntsman, a youth advocate who has created programs such as "Bag of Hope" to help youth cope emotionally with various challenges.
• Winston Wilkinson, director of the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has worked for equality since the civil rights movement began.
• Raymond Uno, a retired judge who has volunteered in civic, community and political affairs for more than half a century. Uno was incarcerated in a Wyoming internment camp for Japanese during World War II.
• Barbara Toomer, a disabled-rights activist who uses nonviolent protests in her advocacy. She is co-founder of Community Shares/Utah, Disabled Rights Action Committee, and ADAPT/Utah.
• Janet Canyon, associate coordinator for the Salt Lake City School District American Indian education program, who works with youth and participates in projects that promote understanding and respect.
• Richard Kischner, a teacher in Granite School District, who strives to expose his students to a variety of people, cultures and habitats.
• Serafi Auva'a-Tavita, a Pacific Islander leader, who has volunteered with a variety of organizations, including the PALE Foundation, a nonprofit parental awareness organization.• Washington Mutual, community sponsor, which has been instrumental in the commission's Adopt-A-School Program, teaching children in grades three to six about the importance of respect, understanding, and acceptance.