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    Aydin – Kemp to Speak at MLK Dinner

    January 8, 2019

    The Greater Scranton MLK Commission, along with the Office of Equity and Diversity,  will host the annual awards dinner on Jan. 20, 2019, in the McIlhenny Ballroom, from 2:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.  OED has reserved two tables for University students and employees to attend the dinner free of charge. Please contact Jennifer.pennington@scranton.edu or call 570-941-6645 to obtain your ticket.

    The 2019 theme “The MARCH continues: A New Era in Peaceful Activism” highlights Dr. King’s philosophy of facilitating cultural and legislative change using non-violent means. The Commission is excited to welcome Andrew Aydin, creator, Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Winner (2014, 2017), and digital media advisor to U.S. Congressman John Lewis. Featured guest speaker is Joel B. Kemp, Ph.D., Harvard Law graduate and assistant professor of Theology and Religious Studies at The University of Scranton.

    An Atlanta native, Andrew Aydin was raised by a single mother and grew up reading comic books. After college, he took a job with Congressman Lewis. In 2008, Congressman Lewis mentioned to Andrew the 1957 comic book Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story and the role it played in the early days of the civil rights movement. Recognizing the potential for a comic on Congressman Lewis' life to inspire young people, Andrew urged him to write a comic about his time in the movement, but Congressman Lewis had one condition: that Andrew write it with him. Collaborating with artist Nate Powell, the MARCH trilogy was born in 2013. Today, Andrew serves as Digital Director & Policy Advisor to Congressman Lewis in Washington, D.C.  For a full bio, click here and click here to view Andrew Aydin's website.

    Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Joel B. Kemp attended Harvard College where he earned his A.B. magna cum laude in Religion and American History in 1997.  His undergraduate thesis examining Negro Spirituals as reflective of a biblically based exilic motif was awarded summa cum laude status.  Dr. Kemp went on to attend Harvard Law School, earning his J.D. in 2000. While attending law school, he was licensed as a minister in the American Baptist Churches. Additionally, Dr. Kemp worked as an attorney at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in their corporate and litigation departments and is a former member of the Board of Directors of Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. – a Massachusetts nonprofit focusing upon the rehabilitation of inner-city youth with DYS and/or DSS (DCF) involvement.  After leaving the law firm, Dr. Kemp continued his legal practice as corporate counsel for Entegrity, LLC.  Dr. Kemp enrolled at Andover Newton Theological School in January 2006, where he received a Master of Divinity in 2010.  After completing his master's degree, Dr. Kemp earned a Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible at Boston College in 2017. His research focuses on the Old Testament, especially the Prophets, Biblical Law, and the History of Judah and Identity Development. Dr. Kemp’s other scholarly pursuits include African-American appropriations of Scripture, the relationship between race, religion, and law within American society, and the use of the Bible in popular culture. Dr. Kemp and his wife Dr. Gail Nia (King) Kemp, who earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at Boston University (2018), serve as founding board members and volunteer program consultants for Cornerstone Ministries Inc., a Massachusetts nonprofit that works with churches, community-based organizations, and schools to help address the intellectual, socio-emotional and spiritual needs of students of color. Currently, Dr. Kemp is an Assistant Professor of Theology at The University of Scranton.

    There will be books for sale and a book signing with Aydin immediately following the dinner.

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