19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
Thursday, January 11, 2018
CNN political commentator
Symone Sanders champions inclusivity, encouraging individuals to embrace diverse voices and perspectives in the pursuit of building and extending strong communities that will help change the world.
A democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, Symone rose to prominence as the press secretary for U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. At 25, Symone demonstrated an uncanny command of the issues, earning her a place in history as the youngest presidential press secretary on record.
A communicator with a passion for policy and juvenile justice reform, Symone is the immediate past chair of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice’s Emerging Leaders Committee and former member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice. Through her involvement with CJJ and the FACJJ, Symone worked to raise the profile of young voices in the fight for juvenile justice reform and bring millennial perspectives to policy conversations.
Now, Symone draws from her experience on the national stage to provide perceptive analysis on political and social issues. Her lively presentations challenge the conventional wisdom that strong communities are only defined by what they have in common. Instead, she outlines the way people’s differences contribute to effective social movements.
Symone’s cogently constructed messages and polished delivery embolden participants to envision a better future and confidently do things that have never been done before.
In 2005, the College unveiled a 5-foot granite monument and named a courtyard on its Lake Worth campus—the site of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Breakfast — in honor of the civil rights leader. As part of the celebration, the College presents its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership Awards to outstanding individuals who have made innovative contributions toward improving the lives of others in Palm Beach County.
Palm Beach State College began hosting its annual celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 2000. The event is among the College’s diversity initiatives, and it attracts hundreds of students, faculty, staff and members of the community each year.
For the first time in 2007, the College broadcast the event live on the Internet to allow students and employees who cannot attend the event in Lake Worth to still participate in the celebration.
History of Speakers
Through the years, the celebration has included stellar speakers, including:
- Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center
- Jeff Johnson, an MSNBC contributor and White House correspondent for TheGrio.com
- BET Co-founder Sheila Johnson
- The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, pastor of Abyssininan Baptist Church
- Poet Nikki Giovanni
- Stuart attorney Willie Gary
- Juan Williams, political analyst for Fox News Channel and National Public Radio senior correspondent
- Xernona Clayton, founder of the Trumpet Awards
- former Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Harry Lee Anstead