Shelton to Speak at Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Dec. 5, 2003 – Attorney Brandon Shelton of Indianapolis, Ind., will be featured as the keynote speaker at Southeast Missouri State University’s 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Jan. 19 at the Show Me Center.

The theme for the 2004 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast is “Embracing the Vision: Fulfilling the Dream!”

Doors open for the event at 7:30 a.m., while the program begins at 8 a.m. Admission is $7 for the public, $5 for children ages 6 to 12, free for children 5 and under, and $5 for University students without a meal plan. Students with meal plans can contact the Southeast Bookstore for details on using their meal plan options at the breakfast. Prepaid sponsored tickets also will be available for low-income individuals and area students. Tickets will not be sold at the door, but will be available in advance from Dec. 10 through Jan. 16 at the Southeast Bookstore and Schnucks Food and Drug Store. Group tickets can be purchased by contacting Dobbie Herrion at (573) 651-2583.

Shelton, the guest speaker, is an associate with the Ogletree Deakins Law Firm in Indianapolis, and devotes his practice to training, counseling and defending employers in multiple employment and labor matters. As a trial lawyer, he represents employers in lawsuits and EEOC charges involving sexual and racial harassment, discrimination, the ADEA, the ADA, wrongful discharge, and wage and hour disputes. He is also involved in labor/management relations, including union avoidance training and campaigns, arbitrations, collective bargaining and proceedings with the National Labor Relations Board.

Shelton frequently provides employers, trade associations and other groups with training on a variety of employment-related issues, including workplace violence, harassment, diversity, legal compliance and liability avoidance. He also has authored several articles on labor and employment law.

Shelton is a member of the American Bar Association. He received a bachelor of science degree from Southern Illinois University and holds a juris doctorate from the University of Illinois College of Law.

In conjunction with the breakfast activities, the 14th Annual Community Celebration, “The Seven Words of Martin,” is planned for 7 p.m. at Second Baptist Church, 835 Beaudean Lane in Cape Girardeau. The event, which is sponsored by the Cape Ministerial Alliance, NAACP and the Downtown Council of Churches, includes worship services presented by area ministers, performances by local choirs, and the presentation of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Award. The event is open to the public. For additional information, contact Rev. David Allen, Sr., at (573) 651-3698, Rev. Bob Towner at (573) 335-2997 or Debra Mitchell-Braxton at (573) 651-5186.

A symbolic event of King’s dream, “Artistic Expressions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Dream,” also will be held in the University Center Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Jan. 20. Participants  will be able to express themselves in any artistic form as a reflection of King’s legacy. Expressions may vary from dance to spoken word, and all ages are welcome to participate. Refreshments will be served, and prizes will be awarded. A silent auction will be held to support the Dr. Martin Luther King Scholarship. Contact Dr. Larry Proctor at (573) 986-2318 or Cori McGee at (573) 651-5186 for information.

“Boxes and Walls,” an exhibit designed to provoke discussion on various injustices in society, will be displayed in the University Center Party Room on Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A program entitled “Passing the Torch of Unity” will be presented in the University Center Ballroom on Jan. 22 at 7 p.m. The program and reception are sponsored by various University student organizations and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee, and will include a keynote speaker and musical tributes. Contact Ruby Jones at (573) 339-4429 for information.

Numerous other events are scheduled for February, when the University will celebrate Black History Month. Activities will include an African-American Health and Wellness Day, a Minority Career Exploration Dinner, an exhibit of African-American artists, a Knowledge Bowl of African-American history and culture, a Black Movie Weekend showcasing decades of African-American cinema, the Seventh Annual Read-A-Thon, and a variety of presentations and discussions covering African-American related topics. In addition, a production of “Nothing Comes to Sleepers,” will be performed in Rose Theatre on March 28.