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The University of Alabama

CeCe Winans to Headline 2015 Realizing the Dream Concert at UA

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Gospel singer CeCe Winans is the featured artist for the 2015 Realizing the Dream Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 17 at the Moody Music Concert Hall on The University of Alabama campus.

Winans’ appearance caps off the 26th annual weekend of recognition for the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Fox News political analyst Juan Williams will deliver the annual Legacy Banquet lecture at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16 at the Hotel Capstone.

Winans, one of the best-selling female gospel artist in history, is a native of Detroit. She comes from a large family of singers that include her brother, BeBe, with whom she has recorded many songs. She has won 10 Grammy Awards and sold more than 12 million records.

She will be welcomed and introduced by students from UA, Stillman College and Shelton State Community College.

Williams is an Emmy-winning journalist whose career spreads across many platforms, including stints with The Washington Post and National Public Radio prior to joining Fox News in 1997.

The Legacy Banquet honors several deserving individuals: Artist and activist Dr. Arthur L. Bacon receives the Mountaintop Award; former Tuscaloosa police chief Ken W. Swindle receives the Call to Conscience Award; and the Horizon Award goes to UA student Tyler Merriweather.

Bacon is Talladega College professor emeritus of the natural sciences and humanities. After 40 years as a member of the faculty, staff and administration, the West Palm Beach, Fla. native is enjoying his second career as an artist. He received his bachelor’s degree from Talladega College in 1961, his Master of Science in zoology from Howard University in 1963, and his doctorate in protozoology, also from Howard, in 1967.

His many awards include recognition for teaching, creativity and research and for securing the college’s accreditation. His artwork was recognized in 2013 in the Artists Showcase of the Palm Beaches Inc.

Swindle, a resident of Tuscaloosa and 1974 graduate of the UA Law Enforcement Academy, served on the Tuscaloosa Police Department for 34 years and was chief for 20 years. He works for Prince, Glover, and Hayes Law Firm where he is chief investigator. A member of Northridge Baptist Church, he serves as a trustee and deacon.

Merriweather, a Holt native, is a junior in elementary education and a staff member at the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama Inc. Merriweather’s passion is in encouraging youth not to be victims of their circumstances but to discover victories within those circumstances. He is active in the campaign for Holt to become a city and to get a new school, the latter recently approved by the Tuscaloosa County Board of Education.

Merriweather serves as an ambassador for the College of Education and as parliamentarian for the UA Black Student Union. His goals include becoming an elementary school teacher in inner city Tuscaloosa and to launch a black male achievement program.

Realizing the Dream partner Southern Christian Leadership Conference once again sponsors Unity Day activities, beginning at 7 a.m., Monday, Jan, 19 with Unity Breakfast at Hay College Center Dining Hall on the Stillman College campus. The Rev. Tyshawn Gardner, pastor of Plum Grove Baptist Church, will be the speaker.

The Unity Day march will begin at noon at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School, and the annual Mass Rally begins at the First African Baptist Church, 2621 Stillman Road. The speaker will be the Rev. Jeffrey Cammon, pastor of St. Peter AME Zion Church.

Sponsors for the Realizing the Dream events are Shelton State Community College, Stillman College, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and The University of Alabama.

Legacy Banquet tickets are $25 for individuals or $200 for a table of 10. Dress is semiformal. Concert tickets are $15.

The annual Realizing the Dream Distinguished Lecture will take place March 10 at 7 p.m. on the Stillman College campus. Bryan A. Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, will be the lecturer. The Equal Justice Initiative is a private, non-profit organization in Montgomery.

Stevenson, a professor at New York University School of Law, is nationally known for his work challenging criminal justice system bias against the poor and minorities. He is the author of “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption,” published by Spiegel and Grau in 2014.

For more information about Realizing the Dream activities and events, phone 205/348-7111 or email community.affairs@ua.edu.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.

  • CONTACT: Bobby Mathews, UA Media Relations, bwmathews1@ur.ua.edu, 205/348-4956
  • SOURCE: Contact: Carol Agomo, Office of Community Affairs, 205-348-7405; Dr. Ed Mullins, 205/246-3334