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Writer and activist Kevin Powell to speak at MLK event

GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Jan. 7, 2011)   —   Acclaimed writer and public speaker Kevin Powell is scheduled to speak Jan. 19 at East Carolina University in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday.

Powell’s speech, “Looking for Martin: Dr. King’s Dream in the 21st Century,” will take place 6:30 p.m. in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms. The free, public event is sponsored by the Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Relations [EDC].

Powell, a past candidate for Congress and cast member of MTV’s first season of “The Real World,” is widely considered one of America’s most important voices in the 21st century. His essays, articles and reviews have appeared in Esquire, Newsweek, The Washington Post, Essence, Rolling Stone, The Amsterdam News and the Huffington Post. He was a founding staff member at Vibe, where his interview subjects included Gen. Colin Powell and Tupac Shakur.

Powell has published 10 books, most recently, “Open Letters to America” (Soft Skull Press), a collection of essays that examines American leadership, politics and social issues in the era of Barack Obama.

“My life-calling is to be a servant for the people, period,” Powell has said. “Money, fame, status, personal achievements, and all that means very little to me when pain and suffering are still real on this planet. I am interested in the powerless becoming powerful.”

For more information, e-mail the EDC office at or call 252-328-6804. Directions and information can be found at Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the event. RSVP is recommended but not required.

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Community Relations at ECU fosters and advances an environment that is equitable, diverse, inclusive, and community-connected, where the value of difference is seen in every facet of the organization. For more information about the office, please visit


Contact: LaKesha Alston | 252-328-6804