Melissa Harris-Perry: Keynote Speaker - Friday, Jan. 24

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

Friday, Jan. 24, 2020
4 p.m.
Kent Student Center Ballroom

About the Speaker

Melissa Harris-Perry, Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University, TV host, author and political commentator, will join Kent State University in celebrating the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. in the Kent Student Center Ballroom.

For more than a decade, Harris-Perry has contributed to American public life through her distinct combination of scholarship and wisdom applied to the analysis of race, gender, politics and power. Currently, she is editor-at large of and a contributing editor at The Nation. She hosted the award-winning television show “Melissa Harris-Perry” on MSNBC, winning the Hillman Prize for broadcast journalism in 2016.

Committed to diversifying American journalism and mentoring emerging public voices, Harris-Perry has developed and implemented innovative mentoring efforts, including the scholars program centering the stories of women and girls of color and BLACK ON CAMPUS, a national student journalism program in partnership with The Nation.

Harris-Perry received her B.A. degree in English from Wake Forest University and her Ph.D. degree in political science from Duke University. She also studied theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. Harris-Perry previously served on the faculty of the University of Chicago, Princeton University and Tulane University.

Diversity Awards

As part of the commemoration, the university will announce the 2020 recipients of Kent State’s Diversity Trailblazer Award, the Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity and the Rozell Duncan Student Diversity Award. 

The Trailblazer award honors diversity pioneers associated with Kent State; the Unity award recognizes the contributions of any Kent State unit that demonstrates significant contributions in the areas of diversity, equity and/or inclusion; and the Student award recognizes a student or student organization demonstrating through positive interactions with others a respect for, and value of, differing backgrounds and points of view within Kent State or in surrounding communities.

Learn More About Previous Diversity Award Recipients

Diversity Trailblazer

Beverly J. Warren Unity Award for Diversity

Rozell Duncan Student Diversity Award

Symposium on Race

Your voice matters! Please join us on Jan. 24 at 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. in the Kent Student Center for a collaborative conversation on race, access and learning at Kent State University.

Register for the Symposium

Call for MLK Programming and Calendar of Events

The Kent State University MLK Planning Committee is requesting that university divisions, departments and student organizations submit programming, activities and events (scheduled Jan. 14-31) to the MLK Calendar of Events.

Calendar of Events


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