New CSU Awards Banquet to Feature Bernice King

Bernice KingCOLUMBUS, Ga. - The youngest child of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. will help Columbus State University’s Office of Diversity Programs and Services start a new tradition of celebrating achievement in the context of CSU’s cultural diversity.

Bernice King will give the keynote address for CSU’s inaugural Legacy Celebration Banquet, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 in the new Student Recreation Center. The event also will involve recognitions of achievement by Hispanic, African-American and international students and related to servant leadership and women’s and GLBTQ (Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning) causes. Awards recognizing humanitarian and faith-based achievement also will be presented.

The event is about “celebrating the legacies of our students and the precedence that they are setting for others to follow, said Dynasty Battest, who is organizing the program as CSU’s coordinator of diversity programs and services.

King’s speech “will highlight the importance of cultural diversity in today's society and provide insight to our future leaders to raise their standards,” Battest said.

An active minister with a master’s degree in divinity, King also is a member of the State Bar of Georgia with a juris doctorate from Emory University. She is respected worldwide for her motivational speeches and recently served as the first woman elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Darryl Holloman said the banquet’s format is “aligned with today’s student attitudes, as well as the mission of its sponsoring office.” That mission is to “foster student development, increase cultural awareness and provide globally-focused learning outcomes through activities and programs that enhance the academic and social needs of a diverse and ever-changing university population.”

Admission is $20 per person or $125 per eight-seat table. For CSU students, the cost is $10 per seat or $60 per table. Tickets can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore or online.