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PREEMINIENT PSYCHOLOGIST NA'IM AKBAR
SPEAKS ON ACHIEVING JUSTICE
AT KING CELEBRATION

By Selena Stevens

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(Dr. Na'im Akbar) is an internationally acclaimed orator and one of the finest social thinkers of our time. He is renowned for his insight and analysis of social concerns affecting African Americans in particular and humanity as a whole."

-- Chester Grundy, director of UK's African-American Student Affairs

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Dec. 17, 1999 – (Lexington, Ky.) – Na'im Akbar, preeminent psychologist and a pioneer in African-centered psychology, will be the featured speaker at Lexington’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration Monday, Jan. 17.

The annual march will begin at 10 a.m. from the Lexington Civic Center. The holiday celebration, co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, will follow at 11 a.m. in Heritage Hall. Area churches and businesses help support the annual event which also will feature the Serious Young Musicians of Dayton, Ohio. This instrumental group serves as an inspiration to youth by performing works thought by many to be too advanced for young musicians.

With this year’s theme, "Achieving Social Justice: 2000 and Beyond," the committee hopes to focus attention on the contemporary meaning of King's message and help people find ways to live the life King envisioned.

"Dr. Na'im Akbar is an internationally acclaimed orator and one of the finest social thinkers of our time. He is renowned for his insight and analysis of social concerns affecting African Americans in particular and humanity as a whole,” said Chester Grundy, a member of the celebration planning committee and director of UK's African-American Student Affairs. "We selected him as our speaker because he is uniquely equipped to advise us on how to make the legacy of Dr. King's life real and meaningful in our individual lives as we move into the 21st century."

Akbar, professor of psychology at Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla., and director of his private consulting firm, Mind Productions and Associates Inc., is considered to be one of the founders of an Afrocentric approach to psychology. He has augmented psychology degrees from the University of Michigan with more than 25 years of intense concentration on the history, philosophy, thought and science of black life in America and Africa.

He has been a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Black Psychologists, serving as president in 1987-88, and has served as an editorial board member of the Journal of Black Studies and as associate editor of the Journal of Black Psychology. For his progressive and landmark contributions to the psychology of the African American, he has received honors including the Annual Member Award and a Distinguished Black Psychologist Award by the National Association of Black Psychologists. He was the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Scholar Award at Florida State University in 1987. Edinboro University in Pennsylvania awarded him its honorary doctorate of humane letters in 1993. In 1995, he was installed as a development chief at Abono Lakeside Village near Kumasi, Ghana. The mayors of Atlantic City, N.J., Cleveland, Ohio, Jackson, Miss., and Cincinnati have all declared Na'im Akbar days in recognition of his accomplishments.

Akbar has spoken to crowds at more than 500 colleges, universities, conferences and symposia throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. In summer 1999, Akbar was the featured speaker at the Roots and Heritage Festival held in downtown Lexington.

Akbar has published several books around the world. They include: "Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery," "The Community of Self," "Visions for Black Men," "Light from Ancient Africa," "Natural Psychology and Human Transformation" and his newest release, "Know Thy Self." He has appeared on episodes of "Tony Brown's Journal," "The Geraldo Show," "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Phil Donahue" and BET's "Our Voices" and been featured in Essence magazine, The Washington Post, Ebony Man and a number of local, national and international newspapers.


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