LAKE WORTH, Fla. – Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, an American Book Award recipient and two-time NAACP Image Award winner, is the keynote speaker at the Palm Beach State College’s (PBSC) 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration being held today.
The event will be held at 11 a.m. at the Duncan Theatre on the Lake Worth campus, 4200 Congress Avenue. It is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to RSVP at www.palmbeachstate.edu/MLK.
As part of the celebration, the College will present Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Awards to four people and an organization that have helped improve the lives of others in Palm Beach County. The honorees are:
• Rhonda Rogers (Alumni), director of community engagement and supports at Prime Time, and an advocate for high quality educational services for vulnerable populations
• The Rev. Kevin L. Jones (Individual), assistant pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in West Palm Beach, who has helped establish numerous programs and initiatives to serve the community
• Tanzina Chowdhury (Student), an honors student who completed her Associate in Arts degree at PBSC last December and has been involved in community service, including volunteering at El Sol, Jupiter’s Neighborhood Resource Center
• Kanathy Haney (Faculty/Staff), a PBSC health professor and an advocate for the under- served and vulnerable population of those afflicted by the crime of human trafficking, and
• Paul’s Place (Organization), an after-school program for underprivileged children located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in southwest Delray Beach.
Dyson is a university professor of sociology at Georgetown University where he received widespread attention in 2011 for his course “Sociology of Hip-Hop: Jay-Z.” His legendary rise – from welfare father to Princeton Ph.D., from church pastor to college professor, from a factory worker who didn’t start college until he was 21 to a figure who has become what writer Naomi Wolf terms “the ideal public intellectual of our time” – may help explain why author Nathan McCall simply calls him “a street fighter in suit and tie.”
Dyson’s pioneering scholarship has had a profound effect on American ideas. His first book, “Reflecting Black: African American Cultural Criticism,” published in 1993 helped establish the field of black American cultural studies. He has written numerous other books, including his New York Times best-seller “April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Death and How It Changed America,” which has been hailed by The Washington Post as “an excellent sociological primer on institutionalized racism in America.”
His most recent book, “Can You Hear Me Now? The Inspiration, Wisdom, and Insight of Michael Eric Dyson,” offers a sampling of his sharp wit, profound thought, and edifying eloquence on the enduring problems of humanity.
He previously taught at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and Brown universities. He has appeared on The Today Show, Nightline, O’Reilly Factor, The Tavis Smiley Show and Real Time with Bill Maher. He is a contributing editor of Time magazine and host of NPR’s The Michael Eric Dyson Show.
Visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/MLK for more information about the celebration and the honorees.