With the US Open in full-swing (8/29 – 9/11), Mercedes-Benz (the official vehicle of the US Open) is planning a short break from the action to partake in the 2011 ICON Awards, a premier United States Tennis Association event to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the sport of tennis and in society.

The event on September 6, 2011 includes for the first time, the Billie Jean King Legacy Award, which goes to an individual who embodies the word “icon” and has made significant contributions or achievements in the areas of inclusion, fairness and equality.

This year’s honorees for the 2011 ICON Awards also include Mayor David N. Dinkins, Rick Welts, CEO and President of the Phoenix Suns and Sportsmen’s Tennis Club.

Mercedes-Benz USA a subsidiary of Daimler AG, who employs 260,100 people worldwide representing over 140 nationalities, share a common goal in building diversity throughout its organizations from internal programs for career development to partnerships with institutions that support professional training and diversity across cultures.

“Diversity has the power to drive innovation and shape the future of our company because of our different experiences, skills and perspectives,” said Tommy Shi, Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Mercedes-Benz USA. “We are proud to support the USTA’s 2011 ICON Awards and its leadership in honoring those that contribute to fairness and equality in sport and throughout the world.”

The ceremony will be hosted by author Touré (pictured) and Betty Nguyen, correspondent for CBS News. Musical entertainment includes The Juilliard School and special guest Dia Frampton (runner-up in the first season of the TV show, “The Voice”).

More: USTA.com

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