Talks begin today at Troy

Published 3:00 am Friday, February 5, 2016

The 15th Annual Leadership Conference kicks off at 6:15 tonight at Sartain Hall on the campus of Troy University with Juanita Abernathy as the keynote speaker.

The 2016 Leadership Conferences will continue on Saturday with three breakout sessions beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Trojan Center with the closing luncheon at noon in the ballroom.

Shelia Jackson, City of Troy public relations director, said Abernathy, the wife of Dr. Ralph Abernathy, was a foot soldier in the Civil Rights Movement.

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“Mrs. Abernathy participated in all the pivotal protests of the time,” Jackson said. “She will share her personal story of triumph and tragedy with us. She will open the conference with a powerful story and we look forward to hearing it.”

The Leadership Conference breakout speakers, Sue Bell Cobb, Kemba Smith Pradia and Bishop S.D. James, will take center stage on Saturday morning.

Cobb is a former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and the first woman to hold that office in Alabama’s history.

Bishop S.D. James is the founder, president, senior bishop and chief executive officer of the S.D. James Evangelistic Association and its Pentecostal churches, worldwide.

“Kemba Smith Pradia has a story to tell that will be especially relevant and inspirational for young people,” Jackson said. “She was involved in drugs and was arrested and incarcerated. Young people – everyone — will be inspired by her story.”

Jasmine Guy, who is well known for her role in the television comedy “A Different World,” will be the keynote speaker at the closing luncheon.

“Jasmine Guy is an award-winning actress, dancer and director,” Jackson said. “She is an inspiring speaker who relates to people of all ages. We could not have a better speaker to close our 15th annual Leadership Conference.”

Tickets for the 2016 Leadership Conference are $30 for the weekend and include the closing luncheon on Saturday.

Tickets will be available today by calling 334-670-2283 and at the Troy Tourism Office at 113 North Market Street in Troy.

The 2016 Leadership Conference is hosted by Troy University and the City of Troy.