Contact: James Carskadon
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Reuben V. Anderson will keynote Mississippi State University’s 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service on Monday [Jan. 18].
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this year’s Unity Breakfast will be held virtually. The event will be broadcast at 8 a.m. on MSTV and livestreamed at www.mstv.msstate.edu, in addition to being made available on the MSU website. It will re-air on MSTV at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Monday.
“Although we as a university and Starkville community cannot gather together in person, I hope we can commit to gathering together virtually,” said MSU Vice President for Access, Diversity and Inclusion Ra’Sheda Forbes. “Events like the Dr. MLK Jr. Unity Breakfast are a reminder of how we can come together to be a better community and people while also seeing our challenging moments as opportunities. We should never miss the moments and opportunities to be better, do better and serve better.”
Anderson, a senior partner with Phelps Dunbar LLP, was the first African American justice on the Mississippi Supreme Court, serving from 1985-1991. Prior to presiding on the Supreme Court, Anderson was a Circuit Court judge for Mississippi’s 7th Circuit Court District, County Court judge for Hinds County, and Municipal Court judge for the city of Jackson. He spent eight years as the Mississippi Associate Counsel for the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Anderson is an alumnus of Tougaloo College and the University of Mississippi School of Law.
Among other public service roles, Anderson is the president and a longtime member of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History Board of Trustees. He also chaired the commission to redesign Mississippi’s state flag.
In addition to Anderson’s speech, Monday’s event will feature a performance from the MSU Black Voices Gospel Choir. A time will be set aside for students, alumni and the Starkville community to reflect on the significance of sustaining Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Donald Shaffer, director of African American studies at MSU, will serve as the emcee.
MSU’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast and Day of Service 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.
MSU’s Maroon Volunteer Center will facilitate service opportunities for students at sites across Starkville on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. For more information, visit https://msstate.campuslabs.com/engage/event/5537511.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.