Thursday December 17, 2009

CNN Analyst Roland Martin to Deliver Message of Inspiration

The University of Dayton continues its Diversity Lecture Series with a visit from CNN political analyst and author Roland Martin, who will deliver the keynote speech at two events Jan. 18-19 celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

Roland Martin will speak at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 18, at the Dayton Convention Center at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Holiday Celebration and Presidential Banquet. His appearance is a collaboration between the Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the University of Dayton. Tickets are $60 and are available to the public. Contact Robbin Casto at 937-259-7930 for purchasing information.

He will also speak at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, at the University of Dayton's Kennedy Union for the University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast. The event is open to University of Dayton faculty, staff and students.

"During the 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Martin was very visible. He continues to be a prolific speaker, he has a relevant message and inspiring story," said Lynnette Heard, executive director of the University of Dayton's president's office, adding that the events provide an opportunity to reflect on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and his message of social justice.

"Looking at the past enables us to understand how to move forward," she said.

Martin is a CNN political analyst and commentator for TV One Cable. In August 2007, he joined Essence Magazine as a special correspondent. In October 2008, he joined the Tom Joyner Morning Show as a senior analyst.

Ebony magazine named Martin one of the 150 Most Influential African-Americans in the United States in 2008. He is also the 2008 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for "In Conversation: The Sen. Barack Obama Interview." He has won more than 20 professional awards for journalistic excellence.

Martin is the author of Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith, and Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America.

He is a 1987 graduate from Houston's Jack Yates High School-Magnet School of Communications, a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in journalism. He also has a master's degree in Christian Communications from Louisiana Baptist University.

Martin is part of an all-star line-up of guests filling the University of Dayton's 2009-2010 Diversity Lecture Series roster, which includes Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel and activist, author and actor Hill Harper.

The University of Dayton's Diversity Lecture Series is part of a larger strategic plan to increase inclusion and diversity on campus and prepare students, faculty, staff and the Dayton community for success in a global society. Past speakers? include Andrew Young, Coretta Scott King, Spike Lee, Kirk Franklin, Clarence Page, Nikki Giovanni, Soledad O'Brien, Azar Nafisi and Johnnetta B. Cole.

The University's commitment to diversity is founded in its Catholic heritage of social justice and the Marianist tradition of equality and being inclusive of people from all segments of society.

The Diversity Lecture Series is co-sponsored by the offices of the president and provost, with the generous support of such community partners as The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ); Dayton Chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; United Way of the Greater Dayton Area; YWCA Dayton; Victoria Theatre Association; Markey's Audio Visual; Ross Buick-GMC-Hummer; RTA; Cannell Graphics; University of Dayton's Media Production Group; Dayton Daily News; WDTN-TV; WDAO-1210 AM; and 92.1 WROU.