Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – On Monday, January 16th at 9:30am, Austin Peay State University (APSU) will host the inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. King Jr., in the Echo Power Club Level of APSU’s Fortera Stadium.

The event, sponsored by the APSU Diversity Committee and the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center, is free and open to the public, but attendees are asked to register in advance at

“The Austin Peay State University Diversity Committee wanted a more visible presence on campus and in the community and thought that celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be a great initiative,” LaNeeça Williams, APSU’s chief diversity officer and Title IX coordinator, said.

“They believed celebrating the life of an iconic civil rights leader would be inspirational and educational for our campus and community,”  Williams stated.

Dr. Jerome Ellis Morris (’90), an Austin Peay alumnus and the E. Desmond Lee Endowed Professor of Urban Education at the University of Missouri St. Louis (UMSL), will deliver the event’s keynote address, “The Initiation of Peace Through Courageous Conversations.” Morris directs the Race, Class, Place, and Outcomes Interdisciplinary Research Group at UMSL, and he is the author of “Troubling the Waters: Fulfilling the Promise of Quality Public Schooling for Black Children” and “Central City’s Blues: Race, Place, and Life in the Housing Projects of the Urban South.”

In 2020, Morris won the prestigious Lyle M. Spencer Research Award from the Spencer Foundation. The $1 million award will fund the investigation of his theory of communally bonded schooling. 

During the breakfast, the University will also honor Marcus Hayes, chair of the APSU Department of Theatre and Dance, as the University’s 2023 Inclusion Champion.

For information on the breakfast, visit

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