Don Mizell, who helped Stevie Wonder develop the successful marketing strategy that led to the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday, will help welcome five new families into their affordable homes at Habitat for Humanity of Broward’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration on Monday, January 21, 2019 at 2 p.m.
On this day which celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, five Habitat Broward homes will be dedicated in the Roosevelt Gardens section of Fort Lauderdale (1390 NW 27 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311).
In addition to his strategic advisor role in helping establish the national holiday, Mizell, who hails from Broward County, was the author of Stevie Wonder’s 1981 speech which officially launched the campaign the day in Washington, D.C. leading to its creation as the first national holiday honoring an African American in American history.
Mizell captured the first NAACP Image Award for Broadcasting in 1981, for his efforts with the campaign. More recently, upon his return from several decades in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles, Mizell spearheaded the successful effort to change the name of John U Lloyd State Park to Dr. Von D. Mizell- Eula Johnson State Park, the first State Park named for African Americans in Florida history.
Mizell is a native of Ft. Lauderdale where he attended Ruby Watson Kindergarten, Walker Elementary, Dillard Elementary, Wingate Junior High and Nova High, where he was elected President of the Student Body in 1966.
He was notably active in the music and entertainment industry for four decades. Among the artists he’s worked with include Wonder, Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, DeBarge, Morris Day, Grover Washington and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
In 2005, Mizell received the Grammy Award for Album of the Year as a producer of Charles’ “Genius Loves Company,” which also garnered an all-time eight awards, sold over six million copies and was the biggest record of Charles’ storied career. He’s been involved with many artists’ albums which have sold over 15 million units worldwide over the last 30 years.
A graduate of Swarthmore College and the Harvard Law School, Mizell co-founded the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers Association (BESLA), now in its 30th year with well over 500 members worldwide, and in 2001 he was awarded its coveted Founders Award.
“We are pleased to announce Don Mizell as our guest speaker on such a special occasion,” said Nancy Robin, Habitat Broward’s CEO & Executive Director. “He paved the way for us to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy and we greatly appreciate his contribution.”
Habitat Broward’s celebration will also feature a special performance by the Dillard High School Drumline.
Family home sponsors include Burdette Beckmann, Inc. and the Robert Taylor Family; Publix Super Markets Charities; and the Rogers Family Foundation.
Other event sponsors are the 4Girls Foundation; Gore Family Memorial Foundation; HG Charitable Foundation; Holman Automotive Group; Homeownership For All; Kiwanis Club of Fort Lauderdale Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward; and the Catherine L. and Edward A. Lozick Foundation.