Roland Martin to Present Keynote at Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner


Tickets Go on Sale Dec. 1

Photo of Roland Martin

Roland Martin

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Nov. 30, 2010 — Roland Martin, award-winning journalist and CNN contributor, will present the keynote address at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner Jan. 19 at Southeast Missouri State University.

The dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Show Me Center. Doors will open at 5 p.m. Tickets for the dinner are $15 and can be purchased beginning Dec. 1. Tickets may be purchased at the Show Me Center box office. One hundred free tickets will be available to students who show their Southeast ID beginning Dec. 1 at Southeast Bookstore.

The theme of this year’s dinner is “Living the Spirit of the Dream.”

A nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate, Martin is the author of “Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith” and ”Speak, Brother! A Black Man’s View of America.”

Martin is a commentator for TV One Cable Network and also host of “The Roland S. Martin Show” on WVON-AM/1690 in Chicago. He can be heard daily from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.  He is also a CNN contributor, appearing on a variety of shows, including “The Situation Room,” “Anderson Cooper 360°,” “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” and many others.  In August 2007, he joined “Essence Magazine” as a special correspondent, writing a bi-monthly column and a daily blog on

Named by “Ebony Magazine” in 2008 as one of the 150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States, he is the 2008 winner of the NAACP Image Award for Best Interview for “In Conversation: The Sen. Barack Obama Interview.”

An insightful and provocative analyst, Martin has appeared numerous times on MSNBC, FOX News, Court TV, BET Nightly News, BBC News, National Public Radio, The Word Network, America’s Black Forum, American Urban Radio Networks, the “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” and NPR’s “News and Notes.”

He is the former executive editor/general manager of the “Chicago Defender,” the nation’s largest black daily newspaper.

He is the former founding news editor for “Savoy Magazine” under the team of New York-based Vanguard Media, and the former founding editor of, owned by nationally syndicated radio show host Tom Joyner and Radio One.

He previously served as owner/publisher of “Dallas-Fort Worth Heritage,” a Christian monthly newspaper. He also has worked as managing editor of the “Houston Defender” and the “Dallas Weekly,” which he led to a number of local, state and national journalism awards.  Martin has worked as morning drive reporter for KRLD/1080 AM; news director and morning anchor at KKDA-AM in Dallas; city hall reporter for the “Fort Worth Star-Telegram;” and county government and neighbors reporter for the “Austin American-Statesman.”

He has won more than 20 professional awards for journalistic excellence, including a regional Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television News Directors; several first place awards from the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Communicators; two citations from the National Associated Press-Managing Editors Conference; the top sports reporting award in 1997 from the National Association of Black Journalists; and honors from the Houston Press Club.

Martin is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

He is a 1987 graduate of Jack Yates High School-Magnet School of Communications, and a 1991 graduate of Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism. Martin is studying to receive his master’s degree in Christian communications at Louisiana Baptist University.

He is married to the Rev. Jacquie Hood Martin, author of “Fulfilled! The Art and Joy of Balanced Living.” They reside in Chicago, Ill., and Dallas, Texas.