Martin Luther King

Keynote speakers

Chuck D

Monday, January 20, 2014

Chuck D (Carlton Douglas Ridenhour) and Public Enemy redefined the world of hip hop and rap with the release of their first album, “Yo! Bum Rush The Show,” in 1987.

Chuck D will give the keynote address on January 20.

Since that time, Public Enemy has released 13 albums, with songs that articulated the issues African Americans and others faced. Long considered among the most influential music groups, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Now the host of Air America’s “On the Real/Off the Record,” Chuck D conducts interviews with national political and music figures. He is a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, and active in the National Urban League, Americans for the Arts Council and National Alliance for African-American Athletes.

Chuck D has been featured and/or interviewed in more than 50 documentaries on music, technology, politics, and race; he has appeared in numerous public service announcements for national peace and the Partnership for a Drug Free America. In 2006, he hosted ESPN’s Ali Raps about the poetry and politics of Muhammad Ali.

Follow him on Twitter @MrChuckD.


Jeff Johnson

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jeff Johnson will speak on January 22.

Jeff Johnson is an award-winning journalist, social activist, political commentator and author.

Currently, Johnson is a regular contributor to MSNBC and the executive editor of He is also the weekly commentator on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show, tackling issues on politics, entertainment and social policy. He chairs the Jeff Johnson Institute for Urban Development, an institution committed to recruiting and developing 80,000 African American male teachers.

He has worked for Black Entertainment Television, served as an advisor for the NCAAP’s youth and college division, and worked as vice president of Russell Simmons’ Hip Hop Summit Action Network. Her serves on the boards of the National Urban Fellows and the HBCU Hall of Fame Foundation. Click here to learn more.

Page last modified August 30, 2013