Cultural Commentator Kevin Powell To Deliver MLK Breakfast Keynote At Texas A&M

Kevin Powell Headshot

By Sam Peshek, Texas A&M University Marketing & Communications

Activist, writer and cultural commentator Kevin Powell will deliver the keynote speech at the 11th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast at Texas A&M University Thursday, Jan. 18.

The breakfast hosted by the Memorial Student Center Carter G. Woodson Black Awareness Committee (MSC WBAC) serves as a formal way to reflect on King’s life, legacy and accomplishments and utilize the passion and spirit associated with King, the civil rights movement and other leaders of the past to inspire and foster action.

This year’s theme of moving forward encompasses “acknowledging the past, but committing to not being pulled back into a pseudo nostalgic idea of past greatness,” according to co-director Sami dePass, a political science major in the class of 2020.

“We are thriving toward a better future despite hardships. We have not just overcome, but we are yet overcoming,” dePass said. “We can expect conversations to emerge from this that incorporate what people can do to move forward as a society and in their personal lives.”

Powell’s discussion will hone in on what contemporary activism looks like and what individuals can do to take part, dePass said.

“This is important because it allows people to not only pay homage to the works done nearly sixty years ago but also find strength in continuing on that same fight,” dePass said.

Powell, a Jersey City, New Jersey native, is a published author of 11 books, with work featured on CNN.com, Esquire, Ebony, Huffington Post, the Washington Post, Rolling Stone, Guardian, ESPN.com and Vibe Magazine, where he worked for many years as a senior writer, interviewing a wide array of public figures that include Tupac Shakur and Colin Powell.

On behalf of the U.S. State Department, he toured Japan lecturing on the importance and relevance of Dr. King and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in the 21st century.

As a pop culture curator, Powell produced the first exhibit on the history of hip-hop in America at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, which toured America and overseas. Today Powell is regularly featured in television, print and radio interviews.

“The MLK breakfast allows all of us to reach outside of our comfort zones and gain insight on new perspectives. We find that those who are engrossed in the university often stay within their own communities,” MLK breakfast co-director Simone Parker, a sociology major in the class of 2018   said. “This is a chance for us to appreciate all of the members of society in a new and refreshing light.”

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the MSC Bethancourt Ballroom on Texas A&M’s campus. Breakfast will be served beginning at 9 a.m. Tickets are $10 and are available at the MSC Box Office located in the first floor lobby of Rudder Tower. Interested participants can order tickets online through the MSC box office or by calling (979) 845-1234 or (888) 890-5667.

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Media contact: Jamie M. Arrexi, Memorial Student Center, 979-458-8709, jarrexi@msc.tamu.edu.


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