MLK breakfast celebrates diversity

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, Youngstown State University will host its 11th annual diversity breakfast on Thursday.

Breakfast will be held in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. In addition to refreshments, the event will include a keynote speaker and an awards ceremony.

William Blake, director of the YSU Office of Student Diversity Programs, said maintaining diversity is one of the university’s major missions.

“We have a very diverse population. The university represents not only Youngstown, but different groups throughout [the] world,” Blake said.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the 117th consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker.

McKenzie is the first woman to be named to the office in more than 200 years of the AME Church’s existence.

She oversees the 10th Episcopal District of Texas. President Barack Obama has appointed McKenzie to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

DeAndre Radcliffe said he plans to attend the diversity breakfast — his third — and is elated to have the chance to sit down with McKenzie.

“We have plans to get lunch or coffee downtown this week. I’m very excited to sit down and speak with her,” Radcliffe said.

The event will also include the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Diversity Awards. Twelve students will be honored.

Students will be receiving awards in three categories: community service, student recognition of diversity and mentorship roles.

The YSU Office of Student Diversity Programs encourages students to celebrate the honors and to enjoy the event.

“Here, we have a chance to experience different culture, learn a lot and leave with a full stomach,” Radcliffe said.

Tickets are available at the YSU Info and PC Lab, which is located on the second floor of Kilcawley Center. Tickets are $15 for students and $25 for general admission.

For more information, contact Carla Nalbach at 330-941-2087 or Blake at 330-941-2086.