Morris Brown College 136th Founders Day Convocation
Atlanta, GA, March 15, 2017 – “Imagine, Aspire, Believe” is the theme for the 2017 Morris Brown College Founders Day Convocation to be held Friday, March 24, 2017, 11:30am at Allen Temple AME Church. To envision what is needed to move the college forward during these times, it is useful to form an image with something in mind, then hold on to that image with passion and conviction until you are able to see it come to fruition. That best describes keynote speaker Bishop Reginald Thomas Jackson. As executive director of the Black Ministers Council of New Jersey, he led a very vocal, high profile and lengthy battle to address the issue of police profiling in the state. He was met by very vocal opposition from some who believed any measure addressing the issue would undermine the powers of law enforcement. Nearly five years after New Jersey state troopers shot three unarmed minority men igniting uproar over racial profiling, the State Legislature passed a bill making it a crime for police to use race as the primary factor in determining whom to stop and search. The state became the first in the nation to recognize racial profiling by law enforcement as a crime, punishable by a fine and five years in prison. Jackson is equally as passionate about the role of education and has been a powerful voice for school reform. “I believe education is a great equalizer,” said Jackson. “I believe the most profound or prophetic thing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said is in the next century, discrimination will not be based primarily on race but on economics; and whoever does not have a good education in this highly technological age will have no standing in society.” Jackson was elected and consecrated the 132nd bishop of the AME Church in 2012 on the platform, "Imagine the Church at Its Best" and possessed an illustrious ministerial career spanning more than four decades before becoming the presiding prelate last year to the Sixth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church encompassing over 500 churches throughout Georgia. In fall 2016, he was elected Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Morris Brown College. Committed to Education Jackson is the recipient of four pens from three New Jersey governors used to sign legislation he helped push through the general assembly. In 2000, he was named Man of the Year by New Jersey Monthly magazine and recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in the state. He served for 16 years on the Orange Public School System Board of Education, 12 as president and served 13 years as a member of the Board of Trustees of Essex County College serving ten as president. He also served as a member of the board of New Brunswick Theological Seminary and on the Board of Directors of the Barnabas Health Care System, the largest healthcare system in New Jersey. He is married to Christy Davis Jackson, Esquire and is father of son Seth Joshua Jackson and daughter Regina Victoria Jackson, a graduate of Florida A&M University. Born in Dover, Delaware, Jackson attended public schools before enrolling in Delaware State University graduating in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in history. He launched a ministry career in 1972 when he was licensed to preach at Mt. Zion AME Church in Dover. Ordained an Itinerant Deacon in 1975, he was assigned as the supply pastor of Graham AME Church, Greenwood, Delaware where he served for one year before moving to Atlanta to attend Turner Seminary at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC). In 1977 he was ordained an Itinerant Elder and the next year, while still in seminary, he was assigned to serve as supply pastor at St. John AME Church in south Atlanta. After graduating in 1979, he returned to New Jersey where he was appointed to St. John AME Church in Jersey City serving two years before moving on to St. Matthew AME Church in Orange. This was the beginning of a dynamic pastorate lasting more than 30 years. He took on a congregation of around 75 members growing it to more than 2,800. His fiscal legacy includes increasing the church’s budget from $50,000 a year in 1981 to $2,000,000.00 annually. He established the Neighborhood and Individual Development Association (NIDA), a community development corporation founded to address vital community needs. Imagine, Aspire, Believe The 2017 Morris Brown Founders Day week to “Imagine, Aspire, Believe” will kick off March 20th with a host of activities including Student Government Association sponsored events like an AUC reception, movie night and Friday fish fry. On Thursday, Morris Brown women will be honored at a midday affair on campus. That same day at 6:00pm at Allen Temple AME church, there will be a Morris Brown College meet and greet reception to include the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Board Members, Foundation Board Members and National Alumni Association and Student Government Association members. Friday morning, March 24th will begin with a meeting of the National Alumni Association at 8:30am led by Shirley Barlow, class of 1973 and National Alumni Association president. Founded in 1881 by the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Morris Brown College is a private, coeducational, liberal arts college engaged in teaching and public service with special focus in leadership, management, entrepreneurship and technology. The college prepares graduates to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives by providing a high quality education through experiential, collaborative and discovery-based learning. For more information, go to www.morrisbrown.edu.