Troy hosts 15th Leadership Conference

Published 3:00 am Saturday, January 30, 2016

The 2016 Leadership Conference at Troy University on February 5 and 6 will feature two outstanding and nationally acclaimed keynote speakers, Juanita Jones Abernathy, the wife of Dr. Ralph Abernathy, and Jasmine Guy, actor/dancer/director.

“We are extremely excited to have Juanita Jones Abernathy and Jasmine Guy as our keynote speakers for our 15th Annual Leadership Conference,” said Shelia Jackson, public relations director for the City of Troy, conference co-sponsor with Troy University. “Juanita Abernathy will be the keynote speaker for the opening ceremony on Friday and Jasmine Guy will be the keynote speaker at the Saturday luncheon.”

Jackson said, as a foot soldier in the Civil Rights Movement, Juanita Abernathy participated in all of the pivotal protests of the era. She helped rally the black community in Montgomery as her husband Rev. Ralph David Abernathy and Martin Luther King Jr. led the Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-1956).

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Jasmine Guy is best known for her starring role as the southern belle, Whitley Marion Gilbert-Wayne, in the sitcom, “A Different World” for which she won four consecutive Image Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

“The 2016 Leadership Conference will also feature three breakout speakers on Saturday,” Jackson said. “They are all outstanding speakers and motivators and we are fortunate to have them.”

Kemba Smith Pradia is an author with a real-life story to share. Sue Bell Cobb is a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and the first woman in Alabama’s history to hold that office. Bishop S.D. James is the founder, president, senior bishop and chief executive officer of S.D. James Evangelistic Association and its Pentecostal churches.

Tickets for the 2016 Leadership Conference on Feb. 5 and 6 at Troy University are $30 for the weekend and include the closing luncheon on Saturday.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Troy Tourism and Public Relations Office at 334-670-2283 or on site at 113 North Market Street in Troy.