Leadership will be focus of talk during MLK Week observance on Jan. 21

“Leadership through the Eyes of MLK” will be the keynote event for Ripon College’s annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Week, featuring events held in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019.

Samuel A. Alford, aka IAm, an artist, activist and Milwaukee native, will be the keynote speaker. The event will be held from 4-7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, 2019, in Great Hall, Harwood Memorial Union. Dinner will be provided, and no registration is required. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Alford has been described as a “fiery” public speaker with a “brilliant mind and sensitive soul.” Around the Midwest, he has served as a powerful community organizer and campaign manager, has led thousands in protest and championed causes such as Black Lives Matter, mental health and economic justice.

He was raised in the city of Milwaukee, the second oldest of five children. His biography states: “He found himself naturally the Big Brother and protector type of human being. Yet his personal love and passion is art and spirituality which he uses in captivating spoken word and musical performances.”

He has taught poetry at the Milwaukee Center for the Performing Arts on behalf of the Running Rebels Youth Organization, is a song writer for Beat Council LLC, and has performed at Summerfest in Milwaukee and as far away as Cape Town, South Africa.

He is pursuing a Ph.D. in psychology and hopes to practice a new form of art therapy, incorporating film, hip hop and performing arts.

The MLK talk is being sponsored by the Center for Politics and the People and the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.

(Photo: Samuel A. Alford)


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