January 14, 2020

SIU hosts NAACP 2020 MLK Breakfast on Monday

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Carbondale NAACP 2020 Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast will be Monday, Jan. 20, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Student Center Ballroom D. Everyone is welcome and tickets are available at the door.

Eclectic program will focus on being counted

“Census 2020 – Why Should My Family Be Counted?” is the theme of the 38th annual event. It begins with breakfast at 8 a.m. followed by the program at 9 a.m. The focus will be on the importance of being counted during this census year.

A highlight of the breakfast is the presentation of the winners of the 2020 King Essay Contest. The annual competition encourages youths in grades 1-12 to reflect on King’s legacy. This year’s contest emphasis is on the importance of citizens participating in the census.

Anna Jackson, a retired senior lecturer in English at SIU Carbondale, is the special guest speaker.

The community celebration has grown through the years and brings together a large and diverse group of people celebrating King’s life and lasting legacy. The program will also feature special music and a variety of area dignitaries and officials.

Lifetime of teaching and giving to community

Jackson has devoted her life to teaching young people and being active in the community. She is a graduate of Paul Quinn College in Waco, Texas, with a bachelor’s degree in English. She taught in the Cleveland, Ohio, public school system and at Carbondale Community High School. She earned numerous awards for her teaching in both states, and at the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

She earned a master’s degree in education at SIU while teaching and then went on to teach English and other classes at SIU for 24 years. She is a past president of the Southern Illinois Association of Teachers of English, the Illinois Association of Teachers of English, and has held positions in the national organization as well. In addition to making presentations at the local, state, national and international levels, Jackson has been very active in the community and at SIU, including assisting several registered student organizations on campus.

Jackson also served as the coordinator of the state-sponsored Southern Illinois Regional Career Preparation Program, assisting underrepresented youths from Sparta, Carbondale, Murphysboro, Cairo, Tamms, Meridian, Ullin and surrounding communities.

Tickets at door or in advance

Tickets are available at the door or in advance from Carbondale branch NAACP members. The admission price is $5, along with a donation of gloves, hat or coat for the Carbondale Warming Center.