University of Southern Indiana

Prestigious journalist is keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Day Luncheon

Prestigious journalist is keynote speaker for Martin Luther King Day Luncheon

1/3/2007 | University Communications
The University will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with its annual Martin Luther King Day Luncheon on Monday, January 15. The theme this year is “Listening, Learning, and Living the Legacy.”

The luncheon, sponsored by the Multicultural Center and the USI Foundation, includes performances by Designed by Grace, the University's gospel choir; Steven Fletcher, one of the winners of the 2006 USI Live at the Apollo talent show; the Thump Squad, a drum line comprised of students from Culver, Glenwood and other local schools; and Blessed Movez, a dance troupe of young people age 5 to 17 from Zion Missionary Baptist Church.

The keynote speaker is George E. Curry, a journalist and affirmative action expert. Since 2001, Curry has served as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) News Service in Washington D.C., a 65-year-old federation of black community newspapers across the United States. He writes a weekly column syndicated by the NNPA and also is serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor at Mississippi Valley State University during the 2006-07 school year.

Curry’s work at the NNPA has ranged from covering the Supreme Court’s oral arguments in the University of Michigan affirmative action cases to traveling to Qatar to report on the Iraq War. He obtained the first interview with Brigadier General Vincent Brooks after the fall of Baghdad.

Before joining the NNPA, Curry was editor-in-chief of Emerge magazine, which won more than 40 national journalism awards under his leadership. He was the first African American president of the American Society of Magazine Editors. Prior to taking over as editor of Emerge, Curry served as New York bureau chief and Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Sports Illustrated.

He is the author of Jake Gaither: America's Most Famous Black Coach (Dodd, Mead & Co., 1977) and editor of The Affirmative Action Debate (Perseus Books, 1996) and The Best of Emerge Magazine, (Ballantine Books, 2003). In 1986, he wrote and served as chief correspondent for the widely praised television documentary, “Assault on Affirmative Action,” which aired as part of the Frontline series on PBS.

He has appeared on the CBS Evening News, ABC’s World News Tonight, The Today Show, 20/20, Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN, C-SPAN, BET, Fox Network News, MSNBC, and ESPN.

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) named Curry its 2003 “Journalist of the Year,” and he is on the NABJ’s list of Most Influential Black Journalists of the 20th Century.

USI’s Martin Luther King Luncheon begins at 11 a.m. Monday, January 15, in Carter Hall in the University Center at USI. Tickets are $7 for the general public and USI employees and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased from the USI Multicultural Center. For more information, call 812/465-7188.
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