Tickets on Sale Now for Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

Jan. 9, 2003 – Tickets for the 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast planned for Jan. 19 are now on sale at a number of locations.

Tickets can be purchased at Schnucks and Southeast Bookstore. Tickets also are available at Tammy’s Hair and Tanning Spa and the Southeast Missouri Hair Styling Academy, both located at 305 N. Fredrick.

The breakfast will be held at the Show Me Center. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., with the program beginning 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 are available in advance now 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.

The theme of this year’s breakfast is “Embracing the Vision: Fulfilling the Dream!” Attorney Brandon Shelton of Indianapolis, Ind., will be the breakfast keynote speaker.

Shelton grew up in Harrisburg, Ill. According to family legend, his family came to Southern Illinois because of opportunities in the coal mines and bootlegging. Shelton’s father is a retired high school guidance counselor and pastor, and his mother is a retired corrections officer. Shelton is the youngest of three children. While in high school, he was active in his church, student government, football, basketball and track, winning a state championship in the 300-meter hurdles and setting a state record.

Having to pay his own way through college, Shelton went to an Illinois community college on a basketball scholarship. During his freshman year, he joined the Air National Guard to fulfill his desire to serve in the military and to help with the costs of his education. In his sophomore year, he gave up basketball and joined the speech team. In his sophomore year of college, he won silver and bronze medals at the National Speech Competition.

After completing an associate’s degree, Shelton attended Southern Illinois University (SIU), majoring in speech communication and English. While at SIU, he was active in Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity and student government. He supplemented his Air National Guard pay by waiting tables at a local restaurant. During a military deployment, a recent law school graduate suggested he consider becoming an attorney. This inspired Shelton to apply to law school, and he chose the University of Illinois.

During his first year of law school, Shelton remained in the Air National Guard and became the youngest African American to get promoted to Second Lieutenant. He was treasurer of the Student Bar Association and a member of the Black Law Student Association. During his first year of law school, he met his wife, Angel Fleetwood.

After graduating from law school, Shelton moved to Indianapolis, Ind., began practicing law and married Angel, who is a corporate attorney with Cummins, Inc. Shelton practices law at Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, the nation’s third largest labor and employment law firm. He is devoted to training, counseling and defending employers in multiple employment and labor matters. The clients he represents range from Fortune 50 multi-national companies to local businesses and charitable organizations. Shelton has tried cases in federal and state courts throughout the country. 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.

Companies, civic groups and organizations frequently ask him to speak on a broad range of topics, including legal issues, diversity and civic matters. He 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.

He is a self-described “adventure freak,” which has led him to sky-diving, scuba diving, white water rafting, backpacking and bungee jumping. He also thoroughly enjoys traveling. He has traveled extensively, including to Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, Canada, Hungary, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Liberia, Africa. He attends New Life Worship Center and serves on boards of several community organizations.