LAKE WORTH — Palm Beach State College’s 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration will be virtual and feature keynote speaker Yvette Miley, an award-winning journalist and NBCUniversal News Group executive who was raised in Riviera Beach.
Themed “Activism, Advocacy and Allyship Toward Equality,” the event will be held at 11 a.m. Jan. 21 and is open to the public. Attendees are asked to RSVP at www.palmbeachstate.edu/mlk. The link to the livestream will be accessible on the College’s website. Pre-program entertainment starts at 10:30 a.m.
As part of the celebration, the college will recognize the 2021 recipients of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award, who were selected after a nomination process open to the community. The honorees were chosen in five categories for their work that embodies King’s spirit and helps to improve the lives of others in the community. They are:
• Alberto Leal (alumni), a Lake Worth attorney who is bridging the internet and technology gap facing the visually impaired community through his advocacy work and has established a scholarship at PBSC to help low-income students fund their education.
• Michelle Aldas (student), a PBSC graphic design student who, after facing her own challenges, founded The Invisible Me Warriors-Chronic Illness Advocates of Palm Beach County, a patient led nonprofit organization that aims to meet the needs of those with chronic illness.
• Robin Johnson-Blake (faculty/staff), who has dedicated 31 years in community services outreach, dual enrollment and recruitment at PBSC and in 2018 became PBSC’s first director of community relations, which has helped the college cultivate and maintain partnerships and relationships with external agencies and businesses.
• Elvin J. Dowling (individual), a West Palm Beach native and award-winning author, activist and “architect of change” who is an advocate of educating future generations of leaders by equipping them with the resources and skills they need to be productive members of society. Among his work, he was successful in securing two separate grants for $1 million each to conduct mentoring activities for 2,200 at-risk youths in 30 cities as a part of President Barack Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.
• Emanuel Jackson Sr. Project (organization), a Delray Beach nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2016 by Emanuel “Dupree” Jackson with a mission to build and empower future leaders. The project’s mission is rooted in its desire to see every teen succeed, regardless of their zip code.
Miley serves as senior vice president of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the NBCUniveral News Group (NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC) and NBC Sports and oversees recruiting and retention, training and development, employee engagement, strategic partnerships, and editorial initiatives across all four networks.
Since joining MSNBC in July 2009, Miley has held several leadership roles within the news group including SVP for MSNBC and NBC News overseeing weekend, overnight, breaking news and special events programming on MSNBC as well as NBC News’ “Early Today” broadcasts; head of Diversity and Inclusion for NBC News and MSNBC; vice president for MSNBC; executive editor of MSNBC Dayside and thegrio.com; and executive-in-charge of the NBC News digital platform NBC Out, the first LGBTQ news vertical created by a major broadcast media organization.
Miley has worked for NBCUniversal for 27 years. Before joining MSNBC and NBC News, she was vice president and news director of the Miami/Fort Lauderdale-based NBC owned and operated television station NBC 6/WTVJ in June 2004. In July 2001, Miley was named vice president and news director of the then-owned NBC station, WVTM-NBC 13 in Birmingham, Ala.
She has received many of the industry’s highest honors, including three Emmy Awards, ten Edward R. Murrow Awards and a Society of Professional Journalists Award.
Miley is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the National Press Club, the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and Online News Association. Her board memberships include ColorComm, the Stonewall Community Foundation, the T. Howard Foundation, the Florida A&M School of Journalism and Graphics Board of Visitors and University of Florida’s College of Journalism Dean Advisory Board.
She is a graduate of Suncoast High School and the University of Florida.
For more information about the event, the speaker and the honorees or to RSVP for the celebration visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/mlk.
Serving 47,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.