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Susan L. Taylor to Speak
at 2003 King Celebration

By Brad Duncan

Photo of Susan L. Taylor
Susan L. Taylor

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The celebration gets underway at 7:30 a.m. with the ninth annual Unity Breakfast, sponsored by the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. The annual Freedom March will begin at 10 a.m. from the Lexington Center. The holiday program will follow at 11 a.m. in Heritage Hall with Taylor as the keynote speaker.

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Lexington, Ky. (Dec. 20, 2002) -- Susan L. Taylor, senior vice president of Essence Communications and editorial director of Essence magazine, will be this year's speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day program Monday, Jan. 20, 2003, at Heritage Hall in downtown Lexington.

The celebration gets underway at 7:30 a.m. with the ninth annual Unity Breakfast, sponsored by the Alpha Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. The annual Freedom March will begin at 10 a.m. from the Lexington Center.

The holiday program, co-sponsored by the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, will follow at 11 a.m. in Heritage Hall with Taylor as the keynote speaker. Churches and businesses help support the annual event.

Taylor, a fourth-generation entrepreneur, founded her own company, Nequai Cosmetics, which led to a part-time appointment as a freelance beauty editor at Essence at the age of 24. She subsequently moved up to editor-in-chief, a post she held for 19 years before becoming editorial director in 2000.

Taylor oversees all editorial operations of the magazine and writes the popular "In the Spirit" column each month. She has helped make Essence the largest and most highly regarded magazine for African-American women in the world with eight million readers each month. She was the first African-American woman to win the Henry Johnson Fisher Award for lifetime achievement in the magazine industry in 1999, and in 2002, she was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors' Hall of Fame.

Taylor is the author of three books: "In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writings of Susan L. Taylor," "Lessons in Living," and "Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives."

The breakfast will run from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Patterson Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Hotel Lexington. Speakers during the breakfast include UK President Lee T. Todd Jr., Fayette District Court Judge Pamela Goodwine, UK men's basketball Coach Tubby Smith, Eastern Kentucky University President Joanne Glasser, and the Rev. Kelly Flood.

Tickets for the breakfast are $15 per person. Reserved tables of 10 may be purchased for $150 each. To purchase tickets or for more information, call (859) 263-8819.

If special accommodations are needed by attendees of the march or program, please contact Terry Allen at (859) 257-8927 or tallen@uky.edu.

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