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Tempe Restaurateur Raveen Arora to receive national diversity award

Post Date:09/08/2017 7:00 AM

TEMPE, Ariz. – The National Diversity Council selected Tempe restaurateur Raveen Arora as a recipient of the 2017 Arizona Diversity Council’s  DiversityFirst Award in recognition of his longtime, selfless outreach to all people across Tempe, the state of Arizona and beyond.

The civic leader and owner of the highly coveted, iconic restaurant The Dhaba, Tempe was selected “for being a true advocacy leader for diversity and inclusion,” said Dennis Kennedy, the founder and chairman of the National Diversity Council.  

The criteria for the honor are a demonstration of raising issues of diversity, speaking out to protect civil and human rights, and leading the development of innovative or contemporary measurers to fight discrimination and its effects, as well as fostering positive communication and actively promoting inter-group relations among people of different backgrounds.

Arora grew up in his native India and had opportunities, as a young man, to work with Mother Teresa in the slums of Calcutta where her example of service to the poorest of the poor profoundly shaped his character of caring for all. He provided help to Tibetan refugees and widespread assistance in refugee camps and mobile clinics during turmoil between Indian and Pakistan in 1971 that resulted in the birth of Bangladesh. 

A professional accountant, he held business posts worldwide and has authored  several books. He settled in the U.S. about 35 years ago and moved permanently to Tempe in 2002 where he opened his India-themed cultural center on Apache Blvd.  A widely traveled motivational speaker, Arora is an entrepreneur and philanthropist who has served in countless community roles, including as a board member for Tempe Sister Cities and a board member for the National Sister Cities, Alliance International, Tempe Community Council, Arizona Restaurant Association, United Food Bank, Tempe Kiwanis Club and Rotary International.

Some of his many previous awards include: 2014 MLK Diversity Award, 2015 Tempe Don Carlos Humanitarian Award, 2016 Business of the year Award, National Restaurant Association’s 2017, Face of Diversity Award, Arizona State Good Neighbor Award, APCA’S Trailblazer Award, the Hope Award from Sister Cities for humanitarian outreach, Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce Sterling Award and the Arizona State University Spirit of Enterprise Award.

Arora said, “I firmly believe that diversity is not just a feel –good or look good activity, but  a human lens for seeking, identifying and promoting talent.” His mantra is listen, talk and connect.

The award will be presented at the Arizona DiversityFirst Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 5 in the Carson Ballroom of Old Main at Arizona State University, 400 E. Tyler Mall, in Tempe. For more information or to register for the event, visit 


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