Tyrone Bledsoe. Photo courtesy of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County

Press release from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County, shared Dec. 9:

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County has announced that Tyrone Bledsoe will be the keynote speaker for Asheville’s 32nd annual Prayer Breakfast at the Grove Park Inn on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013. Tickets to the breakfast cost $25 for adults ($30 as of Jan. 1, 2013); $15 for children 12 and under and $35 for patrons.

The breakfast begins at 8:30 a.m.; doors open for early serving at 7:45 a.m.

Additional events during the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday observance include the Youth Celebration, Peace March and Rally and Candlelight Service. The Youth Celebration begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17, at Lipinsky Auditorium, on the campus of UNC Asheville.

The Peace March and Rally begin at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 – the official King holiday – with a brief service at St. James AME Church on Hildebrand Street on Martin Luther King Boulevard downtown. Participants will march to City-County Plaza at noon, where speakers and musicians will join in a Rally for Justice.

That evening at 6 p.m., nominees and winners of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for 2013 will be announced and recognized at a service at Nazareth First Baptist Church, 141 Pine Street, at the corner of MLK Boulevard. All events except the Prayer Breakfast are free to the public.

Bledsoe is the founder and executive director of the Student African American Brotherhood, a national organization that works on behalf of African-American and Latino males in middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities. The former vice president for Student Life and special assistant to the president at the University of Toledo, he has served at a guest lecturer at the Oxford University Roundtable Institute in Oxford, England. In 2011, former President Bill Clinton invited him to participate in the Clinton Global Initiative as an important voice in addressing achievement gaps for minority students.

Bledsoe received his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from Mississippi State University and a Ph.D. in counseling and student affairs administration at the University of Georgia. He is a contributor to the book African American Men in College.

Tickets can be ordered by telephone at (828) 335-6896 or (828) 301-8968, or by email at [email protected]. Tickets are also available at the Brandi Nichole Family Enrichment Center, 3400 Sweeten Creek Road, Suite C; Quality Janitorial office, 1276 Hendersonville Road; the Multicultural Student Programs office, 114 Highsmith Union, UNC Asheville; and at Grateful Steps Bookstore, 159 South Lexington Ave. (just south of Hilliard Street).

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Angie Newsome was the executive director and editor of Wmforo. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at [email protected].

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