Eighth Annual Leadership Conference slated for Feb. 6-7 at Troy University

Posted: Thursday, 15 January 2009

TROY – Speeches from a television judge and a former U.S. ambassador will highlight the Eighth Annual Leadership Conference Celebrating Black History Month at Troy University’s Troy Campus Feb. 6-7.

Co-sponsored by the University and the City of Troy, the Leadership Conference annually brings together civic and community leaders, clergymen and business leaders in a collaborative and educational forum to designed discuss a central theme – this year’s being “Responsible Citizenship.”

“The conference planning committee is committed to the continued growth of individuals and community development, said Dr. Robin Bynum, associate dean of the University’s College of Education, who is chairing the planning committee. “Please plan to join us February 6 and 7.”

Judge Greg Mathis, whose syndicated television reality-based court show appears on five television stations in Alabama, is a former Detroit, Mich., district court judge whose on-air decisions are legally binding. He was the youngest judge in Michigan’s history and later served as a Superior Court Judge for Michigan’s 36th District. Mathis will speak at the conference’s opening session at 6:30 p.m. in Sartain Hall.

Mathis is known for his street-wise counseling sessions during his on-air court cases and describes his life as a gang-to-gavel story. His show received the 2004 NAACP Image Award and was again nominated for the honor in 2005. As a young man, Mathis was involved with gangs, dropped out of school and spent time in jail. As a promise to his dying mother, Mathis turned his life around, attended Eastern Michigan University, and earned a law degree. In 2004, he was received the honorary Doctor of Laws from Florida A&M University. Mathis is chairman of the Rainbow/PUSH-Excel Board, a lifetime member of the NAACP and is a national board member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (S.C.L.C.). Mathis is married and a father of four children.

On Saturday, the nation’s first black Ambassador to the United Nations, a former Atlanta mayor and U.S. Congressman Andrew Young will provide the keynote address to the conference’s closing session and luncheon at 11:45 a.m. in the Trojan Center Ballroom.

Young, who was Georgia’s 5th District congressman from 1973-1977, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by President Jimmy Carter in 1977, serving until 1979. He was elected Atlanta’s 55th mayor in 1982, serving until 1990. He co-chaired the committee to bring the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta and ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor simultaneously.

A long-identified principal in the Civil Rights Movement, Young was appointed executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1964 and was with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968. He was a principal negotiator during the Civil Rights Campaigns in Birmingham and Selma that resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He earned a bachelor of science degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and bachelor of divinity degree from Hartford Seminary. He was awarded the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2008 by Bridgewater College. Georgia State University named its Andrew Young School for Policy Studies in his honor, as is the Andrew Young Center for International Affairs at Morehouse College.

Prior to Ambassador Young’s address, educational workshops will be offered from 8:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

Registration is $30 and the deadline to register is January 22. Registration may be accomplished online at http://prism.troy.edu/~aalc/ , or by contacting the University’s Institute for Leadership Development at 334-670-5686.