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Young, Mathis to headline leadership conference

The Black History Month Leadership Conference at Troy University has always featured outstanding speakers and this year is no exception.

The 2009 Leadership Conference Feb. 6-7 will bring to Troy University the dynamic combination of Judge Greg Mathis and former U.S. Ambassador Andrew Young.

The conference is sponsored annually by Troy University and the City of Troy and brings together civic and community leaders, clergymen and business leaders in a collaborative and educational forum to discuss a central theme. The theme for the 2009 Leadership Conference is “Responsible Citizenship.”

Catherine Jordan, tourism administrative assistance and publicity chair for the event, said having Mathis and Young together at this year’s conference is a once in a lifetime opportunity for participants to hear them share their success stories.

“They will tell how leadership can change lives and communities,” Jordan said. “We are extremely pleased and honored to have these two nationally recognized and admired leaders as the keynote speakers for the 2009 Leadership Conference.”

Mathis is known for his street-wise counseling sessions during his on-air court cases and describes his life as a gang-to-gavel story. His show received the 2004 NAACP Image Award and was nominated for the honor in 2005.

As a young man, Mathis was involved with gangs, dropped out of school and spent time in jail. As a promise to his dying mother, Mathis turned his life around, attended Eastern Michigan University, and earned a law degree.

Young, who was Georgia’s 5th District congressman from 1973-1977, was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 and served until 1979. He was elected Atlanta’s 55th mayor in 1982 and served until 1990. He co-chaired the committee to bring the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta and ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor at the same time.

A long-identified principal in the Civil Rights Movement, Young was appointed executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1964 and was with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. in 1968. He was a principal negotiator during the Civil Rights campaigns in Birmingham and Selma that resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Mathis will be the keynote speaker at the Friday night session and Young will be the keynote luncheon speaker on Saturday.

Registration is $30 and the deadline is Jan. 22 and space is limited. To register, contact the Troy University Institute for Leadership Development at 334-670-3389.