MLK banquet set for Jan. 18

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The Roxboro Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will host its 35th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday observance banquet beginning at 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Homestead Festival House with Keith Sutton of the Wake County school board as the guest speaker.

Sutton has built his career as an education leader, advocate and public servant on the foundation of civil rights and justice for all. For the past decade, he has served as a member of the Wake County school board where he and his colleagues have provided oversight for a $1.5 billion budget and an organization of more than 20,000 employees. As a board chair, he led the community-wide effort to pass one of the largest school construction bonds in the history of Wake County in 2013. He also led the effort to improve school safety in Wake County in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting.

He is the founder of FocusED LLC, a firm designed to support organizations in the improvement and transformation of education. Sutton currently serves as an education innovation consultant where he specializes in providing clients with consultative services focused on developing innovative, high-quality solutions to complex challenges in the education sector.

Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, Sutton served as a program director for BEST NC where he worked to effectively engage a network of members and partners to provide comprehensive support to students, elevate educators and to raise expectations of learning in North Carolina; design and implement strategy to maintain and nurture BEST NC’s partnerships to ensure the collective impact of our work; convened and facilitated working groups on such issues as early childhood educators’ compensation and school accountability; and manage and execute excellence partner convening including event planning in partnerships with a diverse body of organizations and individuals.

Sutton also spent time as a policy development analyst and program development coordinator with the Department of Public Safety, a legislative affairs program manager with the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. His political experience includes work as a deputy director for the North Carolina Democratic Party Coordinated Campaign and outreach director for the Bev Purdue Committee.

He has also served in a number of leadership positions with organizations like the Triangle Urban League and the North Carolina NAACP, as well as a member of Healthy Schools Task Force for the Wake County Public School System, the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, the Blue Ribbon Committee on the Future of Wake County for the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the Southeast Raleigh Assembly for the City of Raleigh.

Sutton earned his Bachelor’s in Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Master’s in Education Entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of Unity Lodge #64, Prince Hall Masons, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., and the proud father of two beautiful daughters, Alexia and Makayla.

“Celebration of Life and Legacy” will be the theme for this year’s banquet, which will be held at the Homestead Festival Steakhouse, at 155 Frank Timberlake Road, Timberlake. Tickets to the event are $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and under. Tickets may be purchased from any member of the Roxboro Alumnae Chapter. Linda King is the chairperson of this event and Anita Tapp is currently serving as president of the chapter.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is a private, non-profit organization. The Roxboro Alumnae Chapter has had an organized presence in Roxboro since 1981, and its purpose is to provide assistance and support through established programs in local communities throughout the world.

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