The Paducah-McCracken County NAACP announced it would be hosting author, minister, scholar and media personality Dr. Michael Eric Dyson for a lecture later this fall.

Billed as “An Evening with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson,” the event is set for 4 p.m. on Nov. 14 at the Paducah Tilghman High School Auditorium.

Paducah-McCracken County NAACP President J.W. Cleary was highly complimentary of the speaker, calling him “a tonic for our times.” He said he expects that hearing Dyson speak will make a big impact for those in attendance.

“His signature marks in communication, social justice, politics, education, religion and more illuminate. His visit to Paducah will inspire each of us to make our city and our nation a better place,” Cleary said in a news release. “You must come. You cannot miss this.

“His presence among us is an exciting privilege you must embrace ... you will not exit exactly the same way you entered. You will be lifted.”

Dyson is a New York Times bestselling author and has written 24 books on a variety of subjects, including including Barack Obama and race in America. He is also a distinguished professor at Vanderbilt University and a media commentator, having appeared on many shows including NPR’s “Morning Edition,” “Fresh Air with Terry Gross,” “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “The Today Show,” and “Good Morning America.”

A variety of other local leaders made statements about Dyson in the NAACP’s news release earlier this week.

“I want to encourage every pastor, preacher and parishioner to hear this preacher, professor and political giant,” Paducah City Commissioner and pastor Raynarldo Henderson said. “His message of hope and reconciliation will challenge the status quo.”

McCracken County Judge-Executive Craig Clymer called Dyson “a leading thinker and speaker on race relations in the U.S.” Paducah Mayor George Bray expressed his hopes the speaker can inspire those who hear his message.

“The Paducah community is growing in many ways, and this includes becoming a more diverse community,” Bray said. “With growth comes opportunity and we have a significant opportunity to meet and be inspired by (Dyson).”

In lieu of the Annual Freedom Fund Banquet, the local NAACP group is hosting Dyson as their keynote speaker. The event will also include the presentation of its annual scholarship recipients. The event’s theme is “Truth, Healing, Love and the Power Of Youth.”

Cleary hopes the community will help to support the chapter, and the event financially.

“We need sponsors to help incur the cost of this event. We are offering different levels of sponsorship,” Cleary added. “Each level of sponsorship comes with complimentary tickets.”

Anyone interested in contributing toward the event can contact Cleary via email at paducahnaacp@gmail.com.

Tickets before Nov. 7 are $30 for adults and $10 for youth. Tickets after Nov. 7 are $40 for adults and $15 for youth. Tickets are available at paducahnaacpmichaelericdyson.eventbrite.com, by calling 270-519-5391 or emailing paducahnaacp@gmail.com.

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