Kentucky State University is the host location for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech competition, as part of the Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence (EMBODI) program.

The event is the result of a partnership with Kentucky State and Louisville and Frankfort Alumnae chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

According to Kristel Smith, president of the Frankfort Alumnae Chapter, the focus of the event is to instill leadership characteristics in middle through high school age African American boys to become gentleman leaders.

Greetings on behalf of the University will be given by Dr. Roger Cleveland, director of the Center for Research on the Eradication of Educational Disparities (C.R.E.E.D.).

During the speech competition, 14 to 16 students will present a three-to-five-minute speech on a pre-selected leadership topic. The competition will be judged and prizes awarded. The community, particularly men with a desire to support, encourage and serve as positive role models are invited to attend and participate in mini sessions called Model Your Expectations. The program will also feature a motivational speech by Mister Kentucky State University, Michael N. Weaver Jr.

Smith said the event is part of the EMBODI program, which is designed to focus the efforts of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, with the support of other major organizations, on the plight of African American males.

The event will be held Jan. 20 in the J.S. Hathaway Hall auditorium beginning at 10 a.m. Students will enjoy lunch, sponsored by the C.R.E.E.D. Center. Refreshments will be served.