The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Memorial Luncheon is Monday, January
11a.m. in Carter Hall.
Susan L. Taylor
Editor Emerita of EssenceMagazine & Founder, National Cares Mentoring Movement
Susan L. Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built—as its fashion and beauty editor, as editor-in-chief and editorial director. For nearly three decades, as the driving force behind one of the most celebrated Black-owned businesses of our time, Taylor has become a legend in the magazine publishing world. And, for 27 years, she authored one of the magazine’s most popular columns, "In the Spirit."
She was the first and only African American Woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award—the industry's highest honor—and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of the NAACP President's Award for visionary leadership and has honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.
She is an avid supporter of a host of organizations dedicated to moving the Black community forward, but her passion and focus today is the National Cares Mentoring Movement, a call to action, which she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The Cares Mentoring Movement is a massive campaign to recruit one million able adults to help secure our children who are in peril and losing ground. "Not on our watch!" Taylor says. "Our children are the mothers and fathers of our tomorrows, and their future is in our hands." The goals of the Cares Movement are to increase high school graduation rates among African American students, end the violence in Black communities and the over-incarceration of our young. "Creating safe, top-tier schools in every underserved community in this nation is the mandate—and it’s doable," notes Taylor.
Judge Glenda Hatchett, 2012
2012 key note speaker was, Judge Glenda Hatchett, who presides over the syndicated show, "Judge Hatchett," and is the founder of Parent Power Now, the premier online parenting network. Judge Hatchett is also the author of the national best-sellers "Dare to Take Charge" and "Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say."
After graduating from Emory University School of Law, Glenda Hatchett accepted a position at Delta Air Lines as the company’s highest-ranking African-American woman. Her outstanding contributions were recognized by Ebony Magazine, which named Glenda Hatchett one of the “100 Best and Brightest Women in Corporate America.” She then accepted an appointment as Chief Presiding Judge of the Fulton County, GA Juvenile Court where she became Georgia’s first African-American Chief Presiding Judge of a state court and the department head of one of the largest juvenile court systems in the country. As a graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Hatchett was recognized as a distinguished alumni and awarded an honorary degree by the college. She also received the Emory Medal, the highest award given to an alum by Emory University because of her commitment to excellence and service within the community.
Hill Harper, 2011
On January 17, 2011 the MLK Memorial Luncheon keynote speaker was Hill Harper, who boasts a resume in mainstream and independent films, national television, and in literary circles. Recognized as one of the stars of CSI: NY, he has also proved successful as an author, completing his second book in a series, Letters to a Young Sister: DeFINE Your Destiny. Harper provides the frequently regarded “lost generation” with words of encouragement and guidance. In his first of the series, Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest your Destiny, Harper shares the humbling life lessons he learned on the road to his Ivy League education and beyond. Revolutionary in how he deals with adolescent issues that no other writer has dared to penetrate, Harper won both NAACP Image Awards that he was nominated for in March 2007, Outstanding Literary Work by a Debut Author, and Outstanding Literary Work for Youth/Teens.
Juan Williams, 2010
On January 18, 2010 the MLK Day Memorial Luncheon keynote speaker was Juan Williams, who coauthored the book, Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965. He regularly appears on CNN Crossfire, Fox New Channel, and National Public Radio (NPR). Williams was also a scriptwriter for Oprah Winfrey’s prime time special – No One Dies Alone. In addition, Williams has received an Emmy Award for television documentary writing, and has won widespread critical acclaim for a series of documentaries, including Politics – The New Black Power, A. Phillip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom, Marion Anderson, Dateline Freedom- Civil Rights and The Press, Riot to Recovery and Dying for Healthcare. Williams also writes for leading newspapers including The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and that he has been published in magazines including The Atlantic Monthly and Time.
Olympian Dr. John Carlos, 2009
In 2008, the MLK Day Memorial Luncheon keynote speaker was Olympian Dr. John Carlos. Dr. Carlos was the 200 meter dash bronze medalist in the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Carlos has been recognized for his efforts against racism and economic depression particularly during the 1968 Olympics, and he shared these things along with memories from his personal interactions with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He spoke from the perspective of, "Living the Dream."
Coach Herman Boone, 2008
In 2008, the MLK Day Memorial Luncheon was held on January 21st, and
the keynote speaker was
Coach Herman Boone. Coach Boone's inspirational story was captured in the Disney film "Remember the Titans" starring Denzel Washington. He has also had personal experiences with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his accomplishments include helping a Virginian community set aside racial intolerance .
Coach Boone is a native of Rocky Mount, North Carolina and he received his bachelor's and master's degrees from North Carolina College in Durham. He decided to become a teacher and coach so that he might motivate students. Collectively, Boone's football teams amassed an astonishing record of 99 wins and eight losses during his tenure.
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