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Brunswick school chief to speak at annual King dinner banquet / January 08, 2014
The Mecklenburg County branch of the NAACP will mark the birthday of Nobel Peace Prize recipient and slain civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., by holding the annual Freedom Fund dinner on Monday, January 20 at VFW Post 7166, South Hill.

Virginia Fenty, a Clarksville resident and member of the local NAACP, sees the banquet as more than just a fundraiser for Mecklenburg County NAACP Branch Unit 7131. “It is a way to remember the message and the tools of Dr. King,” who used nonviolent civil disobedience to fight against legal segregation and for civil rights for all Americans, regardless of their race.

Speaking at this year’s banquet is Brunswick County School Superintendent Oliver W. Spencer Jr., Ph.D. It is fitting that Spencer, an educator with a history of promoting human rights, should deliver the keynote address at the celebration of King, who once said of education, “The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But, education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.”

Like King, Spencer is also a man of faith, having served as a church deacon for more than 25 years.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Prairie View A&M University in Texas, and a Masters degree and Ph.D. in Education Administration from the University of Minnesota, Spencer served as a director of K-12 At-Risk Instruction and as the coordinator of the African-American Male Leadership Academy in Kansas City, Kansas. He was also the deputy commissioner of Human Rights in Minnesota.

More recently, Spencer served as the first African-American superintendent of schools in both Middlesex County and Brunswick County.

When called to speak, Spencer covers such diverse topics as: A Passion for Teaching and Compassion for Learning, How to Help Staff Make a Difference with High Risk Students, Classroom Presentation that Integrates the Curriculum, Motivating the Staff with Incentives, Career Development for Black Males, Let’s Talk about Role Models, Unity In a World of Diversity, and Making a Difference.

He is also the author of the First and Ten Mentoring Manual and designer of the First and Ten Mentoring Program.

Members of the public are welcome at the banquet, which starts at 6 p.m., at the South Hill-La Crosse VFW Post 7166, 1474 Mecklenburg Ave., South Hill. Tickets cost $30 per person ($10 for children under 17), and may be purchased from Virginia Fenty (434) 374-3946, Everette Burwell (434) 374-2660, Annie Russell (434) 689-2354, Mary Winckler (434) 447-8004, Shirley Moreland (434) 447-4824, Lacy Marks (434) 636-2881, Rhoena Brown (434) 372-3852, Thad Carter (434) 372-4957 or any member of the NAACP Chapter.

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