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January 24, 2000

King Memorial Convocation will feature editor of Essence magazine

By Karin Wanless

Susan L. Taylor, editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, will be the featured speaker at UC Santa Cruz's 16th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Convocation. The convocation will take place on Tuesday, February 8, at 7 p.m. in the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street.

Photo of Susan Taylor
Susan Taylor
In her address, Taylor will discuss the economic impacts of the civil rights movement on African American communities. The convocation is open to the public at no charge. No seating tickets are required.

The annual event celebrates the life of Dr. King by presenting speakers who discuss current civil rights issues of freedom, justice, and opportunity. The convocation also seeks to develop dialogue within the campus community and with the local communities served by UCSC.

UCSC Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood will give the welcoming address, and Stevenson College Provost Tyler Stovall will emcee the convocation. Blues singer, Sista Monica, will sing. African and African American traditional folktales and songs will be performed by Sibling Tribalry, a local group comprised of sisters Akila, 13, and Kamaria Crossdale, 9.

A reception sponsored by the UCSC African/Black Student Alliance will immediately follow the convocation. The reception at the Civic Auditorium is open to the public.

Earlier in the day, Taylor will attend a reception for local high school and community college students at Cowell College at UCSC. Sponsored by the campus's Early Academic Outreach Program, the reception will give the students an opportunity to visit the university and draw inspiration from Taylor.

Taylor has been editor-in-chief of Essence since 1981 and senior vice president of Essence Communications, Inc., since 1993. She has guided Essence through a period of phenomenal growth, making it a very popular magazine for African American women, with a monthly readership of more than eight million people.

A graduate of Fordham University and a current graduate student at Union Theological Seminary, Taylor is the recipient of numerous awards and citations as well as honorary doctorate degrees from Lincoln University, Delaware State University, and Spelman College.

Through her monthly Essence column, "In the Spirit," and her numerous public appearances, she has become an example and inspiration to the African American communities she promotes. She is the author of two best-selling books, Lessons in Living, and In the Spirit, a collection of her monthly columns.

An advocate of African American entrepreneurship and a supporter of community-based organizations, Taylor is committed to working with disadvantaged women and young people to help them realize their strengths and take charge of their lives.

On the evening of the convocation, there will be shuttles to the Civic Auditorium from UCSC at 6:15 p.m., 6:25 p.m, and 6:30 p.m. at all Metro bus stops on campus.

The event is produced by the University Events Office with support from the Office of the Chancellor and other campus units, and is cosponsored by the City of Santa Cruz, KUSP Radio, and the Santa Cruz County Sentinel.

Call (831) 459-4058 for disability-related needs.

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