Ellis to keynote MLK Jr. Day Unity Breakfast at MSU

Contact: Allison Matthews

Former State Rep. Tyrone Ellis will give the keynote address during MSU’s 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Breakfast on Jan. 15. (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Former State Rep. Tyrone Ellis will be the featured speaker at Mississippi State during the university’s 24th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity Breakfast.

The Jan. 15 program begins at 9 a.m. in The Mill at MSU Conference Center located at 600 Russell St. in Starkville. The free, public celebration of King’s life and legacy as a Baptist minister, civil rights activist and humanitarian gets underway with an 8 a.m. complimentary breakfast. Doors open at 7:30 a.m., and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reserved tables are available through sponsorship opportunities. For details, contact Hannah Owens, associate director of MSU’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, at howens@oidi.msstate.edu or 662-325-2493.

Ellis retired in June 2017 after 38 years of legislative service representing Mississippi’s District 38 in the House of Representatives. He continues his role as pastor of Running Water Baptist Church in Noxubee County.

The Starkville native first took office in 1980 and led House Democrats from 2008 until his retirement. He also was an active member of several committees, including Apportionment and Elections; Energy; Interstate Cooperation; Public Property; and Ways and Means. District 38 includes parts of Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha counties and formerly included parts of Noxubee County.

The MSU event is sponsored by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, Holmes Cultural Diversity Center, and the university’s Division of Student Affairs. In addition to welcoming remarks by MSU President Mark E. Keenum, the program will include a performance by the campus’s Black Voices Gospel Choir.

After the program, MSU’s Maroon Volunteer Center, in coordination with Volunteer Starkville, will begin the MLK Jr. Day of Service activities. Volunteer opportunities are available at, among others, Camp Seminole, Christian Women’s Job Corps, Christian World Missions, District Five Volunteer Fire Department, Habitat for Humanity Resale Store, J.L. King Community Center, Ms. Smith’s Educational Services, MSU Community Garden, Odd Fellows Cemetery, Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum, Palmer Home for Children and Palmer Home Thrift Stores, Starkville Boys and Girls Club, and Starkville Parks and Recreation.

For more information on MSU’s 2018 MLK Jr. Day observance, including volunteer service-day locations and projects, visit www.mlkdaystarkville.com. Meggan Franks, MSU assistant director of student leadership and community engagement, also may be contacted at 662-325-2208 or mfranks@saffairs.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.