Laura Seitz, Deseret News
The Rev. Leslie Whited applauds a group of refugees as she accepts a humanitarian award from Chris Picard.

The Rev. Dr. Leslie Whited knows the dream of peace is possible.

She sees it every day in her work as chief executive officer of Lutheran Social Services of Utah. 

"The people here are amazing every day. It is a place of peace in Salt Lake City. There are seven religions every day that mix in peace to work through things at Lutheran Social Services that just have come from genocide over religious beliefs so it is a miraculous place," Whited said.

Many of the people Whited serves were on hand Saturday afternoon as she was honored with the 2011 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Embracing the Dream Award at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Whited said she accepted the award on behalf of the people "making that peace happen everyday." 

The other recipients will receive their awards today.

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be recognized during its weekly Music and the Spoken Word performance at 9 a.m. in the Salt Lake Tabernacle. Guest performer, Baritone Robert Sims, will perform with the choir. He was the featured singer during a concert preceding Saturday's award presentation that also featured Paul Hamilton on piano and Michael Lucarelli on guitar.

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The other recipient, the Rev. France Davis, is scheduled to receive his award during a presentation at 11 a.m. today during services at Calvary Baptist Church, where he is the senior minister.

The annual event, sponsored by Salt Lake Community College and the Cathedral of the Madeleine, also honored Marian Dora L. Howe-Taylor with its Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee Service Award. Howe-Taylor is the manager of community outreach in SLCC's School of Science, Mathematics and Engineering. She is a driving force behind Martin Luther King Jr. activities at the college and has been a member of the Cathedral of the Madeleine Festival for the Arts & Humanities since 1999.