Bakari Sellers: Keynote Speaker - Thursday, Jan. 21

A Celebration to Honor the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021
5:30 p.m.
Pre-Recorded Virtual Program

About the Speaker

Bakari Sellers made history in 2006 when, at just 22 years old, he defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina State Legislature and the youngest African American elected official in the nation. In 2014, he was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in South Carolina. 

Sellers earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, where he served as student body president, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina. He has followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader Cleveland Sellers, in his tireless commitment to service, championing progressive policies to address issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity. 

In addition to having served on President Barack Obama's South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election, Sellers is widely considered to be a rising star within the Democratic Party and a leading voice for his generation. His accomplishments, coupled with his uncommon ability to reach across the aisle and get things done, have led to numerous accolades, including being named to Time magazine’s 40 Under 40 list in 2010, as well as “The Root 100” list of the nation’s most influential African Americans in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

He has served as a featured speaker for the National Education Association, College Democrats of America National Convention and the Democratic National Convention in 2008 and 2016. 

Sellers practices law with the Strom Law Firm, LLC, in Columbia, South Carolina, and is a political commentator at CNN. He is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker Sellers.



Cavani String Quartet and Poet Mwatabu Okantah
Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021
7 p.m.

Watch the Performance

COLLAGE: Music & Poetry is a multi -discipline performance experience which takes the audience on an electrifying journey through spoken poetry woven in and around music. The members of the Cavani Quartet in collaboration with poet Mwatabu Okantah inspire audiences to deepen their understanding and appreciation of both music and the spoken word while representing living history from the 18th through the 21st century. This unique fusion of chamber music and poetry creates a new and larger experience and serves to reach all audiences through mind and heart. The Cavani Quartet has performed with poet Mwatabu Okantah at universities, schools, and on cultural arts series throughout the United States.  COLLAGE has received acclaim as the intensely powerful convergence of two art forms which take their roots from both African and European cultures.  Originally conceived to introduce young audiences to the mediums of chamber music and poetry, the program has been featured at the American Music Festival Creative Writing Workshop in North Carolina, Chamber Music Society of Detroit, West Virginia University, The Chamber Music America National Conference in New York, Occidental Concert Series in San Francisco.  A recent Cavani / Okantah performance received this accolade from a high school teacher: The Cavani Quartet with poet Mwatabu Okantah, a modern-day griot, will move the entire room with its beautiful and sorrowful mélange of cultures and history.  Audience members will leave wanting to be better human beings."  The program is particularly meaningful and exciting for people from all walks of life who like to think outside the box’ and see limitless possibilities for self-expression through music and the spoken word.

Commemorative Events

Kent State University is hosting various programming, activities and events to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Calendar of Commemorative Events


For more information, call 330-672-8563, e-mail or tweet/follow us @DEIKentState. Tag your posts using #KentStateMLK