Westminster College is pleased to announce the community recipients of Westminster’s 2020 MLK Unsung Hero Awards are Ballet West’s Adam Sklute and the B.W. Bastian Foundation. The MLK Unity Luncheon and Unsung Hero Awards on January 24, 2020 are part of Westminster’s week-long celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy. The Unsung Hero Awards are given to individuals, groups and organizations who are committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive campus and community. “Our Unsung Hero Awards, now in its fourth year, seek to recognize those on our campus and in the community who are sharing their gifts, skills and talents in service to create and increase inclusivity and celebrate the diversity among us,” said Tamara Stevenson, chief diversity officer at Westminster. “Honoring our Unsung Heroes during the Unity Luncheon, the capstone event to our annual MLK Commemorative Series, is an ideal opportunity for us to reflect on Dr. King’s life, work and legacy as a scholar, activist and advocate for civil rights and social justice.” 

Westminster recognizes Ballet West artistic director Adam Sklute for his efforts toward a more inclusive ballet environment. When Sklute started at Ballet West in 2007, he said, “I want my dancers to be as diverse as the world around us.” He has since expanded Ballet West’s company to include dancers of color and of varied nationalities. Ballet West is now one of the most diverse ballet companies in the country. Sklute oversaw Ballet West’s new set and costumes, and he modified choreography for “The Nutcracker” – transforming cultural stereotypes into cultural celebrations.