Political analyst Juan Williams to headline MLK Birthday Convocation at JSU on Jan. 15

The Margaret Walker Center for the Study of the African-American Experience at Jackson State University is pleased to announce that Juan Williams will be the keynote speaker for the 48th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Birthday Convocation at 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 15, in the Rose E. McCoy Auditorium on the JSU campus.



A leading political writer and thinker, Williams has worked as a reporter for National Public Radio and The Washington Post and as a political analyst for Fox News. With three decades of experience reporting from Washington, he is one of the nation’s most reputable political analysts.

“We are excited about the opportunity to expose our students and the broader JSU community to the experiences and expertise of Mr. Williams,” said Margaret Walker Center Director Dr. Robert Luckett.  Along with having interviewed numerous Washington power players including Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan, Williams wrote the acclaimed history of the modern civil rights era, Eyes on the Prize.

Margaret Walker began the MLK Convocation at Jackson State to honor Dr. King just nine months after his assassination in 1968, making it one of the earliest celebrations of the civil rights leader’s birthday in the nation.  “More than 1,000 people attend each year,” Luckett said.

Immediately following the MLK Convocation, the Margaret Walker Center will honor Williams as well as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett Museum in Holly Springs, Miss.; the Emmett Till Interpretive Center in Sumner, Miss.; and the Beta Delta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., with For My People Awards for their contributions to African-American history and culture.

The luncheon will begin at 11:45 a.m. in the JSU Student Center Ballroom.  This annual award is named after Margaret Walker’s classic poem, For My People. Past recipients have included James Meredith, Unita Blackwell, Robert Clark, Lerone Bennett, Andrew Young, Jesse Mosley, Reena Evers-Everette and Charlayne Hunter-Gault.

While MLK Convocation is free and open to the public, tickets for this year’s For My People Awards luncheon can be purchased through the Margaret Walker Center for $20.  For more information, contact the center at 601-979-3935 or mwa@jsums.edu.