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Political Commentator, Activist Bakari Sellers to Speak Jan. 18 at Ferris' MLK Jr. Celebration

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A political contributor to the CNN and MSNBC networks will speak at Ferris State University on Wednesday, Jan. 18, as attorney Bakari Sellers’ visit caps the 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on the Big Rapids campus.

Sellers’ keynote presentation, which begins at 7 p.m. in Room 202 of the University Center, is a five-star campus event that will allow the audience to learn the perspectives of a man seen as a rising star in the national Democratic Party. Sellers, at age 22, became the youngest African American elected official in the nation, when he defeated a 13-term incumbent, in 2006, and joined the South Carolina House of Representatives.

“I consider myself a child of the civil rights movement,” said Sellers, whose father, Cleveland, helped lead the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, in the 1960s. “That is a huge portion of my background.”

Sellers said he is honored to be speaking to, and meeting Ferris students and Big Rapids community members, as part of the university’s MLK Celebration.

“I learned about activism on the college campus,” Sellers said. “Campaigning to certify the rights of gays, SNCC’s work to assure voting rights, matters that we take for granted saw their first advocates grow from college communities.”

Sellers was student body president while he earned his bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College, in Atlanta, Ga., and his Juris Doctor of Law, from the University of South Carolina.

Sellers said the timing of his visit, and Ferris’ MLK celebration, is particularly significant, as on Friday, Jan. 20, a new administration begins in the White House, with the inauguration of Donald Trump as president.

“We are looking at a time of commencement, to see that no one infringes on the rights of the community,” Sellers said. “I hope students see this as a time of rejuvenation, and that they remember that we must always have hope.”

Ferris’ Office of Multicultural Student Services reminds students, and the greater Big Rapids community, that all MLK Celebration events are free, and open to the public.

PHOTO CAPTION: The featured speaker for Ferris State University's Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is Bakari Sellers. The political commentator and two-time selection for "The Root 100" list of the nation's most influential African-Americans will speak Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 7 p.m. in Room 202 of the University Center, in a five-star campus event.