William H. Turner to speak at Centre Martin Luther King, Jr. convocation

Posted by Centre News in Academics, Campus, News 13 Jan 2014

turner_williamCentre College will host William H. Turner, a lifelong intellectual, educator and activist, at this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. community convocation. Turner will be speaking on the importance of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Turner has tirelessly pursued civil rights in a variety of venues, from completing research for author Alex Haley’s seminal work ROOTS to serving as Vice President for Multicultural Affairs at the University of Kentucky.

A Harlan County native, Turner’s work has focused largely on African Americans in Appalachia. He co-authored a textbook titled Blacks in Appalachia, the first of its kind, as well as published an essay on Black Appalachians in The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. For two decades, he wrote editorial columns in the African-American weekly The Chronicle. He also blogs among Black Voices on the Huffington Post website.

Turner has received multiple honors, including “Person of the Year” from the Christian Appalachian Project, “Distinguished Alumni Exemplar” from Notre Dame University, induction into the Kentucky Civil Rights Hall of Fame in 2007 and “Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Citizen of the Year” by the Governor of Kentucky. In 2009, the Appalachian Studies Association awarded Turner the Cratis D. Williams/James S. Brown Service award—the organization’s highest honor.

Turner received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky, his master’s and Ph.D degrees from Notre Dame University and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University. He currently advises the president of Berea College and is a Research Professor of Sociology at Prairie View A&M University.

The community convocation is on Monday, Jan. 20 at 6:30 p.m. in Newlin Hall. Prior to Mr. Turner’s remarks, entertainment will be provided by the Male Choir of First Baptist Church and Centre’s Moments in Motion dance group.

By Mariel Smith