LAKE WORTH — Jeff Johnson, White House correspondent for TheGrio.com, will be the keynote speaker at Palm Beach State College’s 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast.
Free and open to the public, the event will be held at 7:30 a.m. on Jan. 12 at PBSC’s main campus, 4200 Congress Ave. in Lake Worth, with the program beginning at 8:15 a.m. The activities will take place in the outdoor plaza named in King's honor, as well as the campus’ Duncan Theatre.
As an MSNBC contributor and correspondent for The Grio, an African-American website owned by NBC, Johnson covers key issues facing the nation. He has spent the last decade merging the worlds of politics and popular culture.
Based in the nation's capital, he converses with world figures in politics, business and entertainment. He is acclaimed for his grassroots work to inspire a new generation of leaders, as well as his BET specials and commentaries on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, and his trailblazing work as CEO of Jeff's Nation, LLC.
Johnson has served as senior advisor for media and youth outreach for People for the American Way, national director of the Youth & College division of the NAACP, and vice president of the Russell Simmons Hip Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN).
Since 2000 the college has hosted its annual celebration honoring Dr. King. Through the years the celebration has included stellar speakers, including former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead; political
analyst and former National Public Radio correspondent Juan Williams; broadcasting pioneer and Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton; Abyssininan Baptist Church Pastor the Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III; poet Nikki Giovanni; attorney Willie Gary; and BET co-founder Sheila Johnson.
The celebration is among PBSC’s diversity initiatives and attracts hundreds of students, faculty, staff and members of the community each year. For the first time in 2007, the college broadcast is live on the Internet to allow students and employees who cannot attend to participate. In 2005 the college unveiled a 5-foot granite monument and named the courtyard — the site of the breakfast — in honor of King.
As part of the breakfast celebration the college presents its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards to individuals who have made innovative contributions toward improving the lives of others in Palm Beach County.
This year’s recipients are: D'atra Franklin, a Palm Beach State student who has advocated for legislation to help children aging out of the foster care system; Mark Hansen (Alumni), a former Palm Beach County School Board member who through his books and service is committed to helping and empowering youth; Carlton “Ricky” Wade (Individual), a McDonald's franchisee of 11 restaurants in Palm Beach County whose business presence and personal involvement has enriched youth in the community. El Sol, Jupiter's neighborhood resource center that provides services for immigrants and low-income individuals in the community, will receive the award in the Organization category.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Palm Beach State College’s 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
WHEN: Jan. 12, 7:30 a.m.
WHERE: PBSC main
campus, 4200 Congress Ave., Lake Worth
COST: Free and open
to the public
palmbeachstate.edu/MLK.xml or call 561-868-3111.
Photo: Jeff Johnson