by David Koon
Philander Smith's free and open to the public "Bless the Mic" lecture series has brought some great speakers to town in the past, and it looks like that trend will continue in the coming year. They announced their schedule this week, and it's full of famous and interesting names.
All lectures are held on Thursdays, and start at 7 p.m. on the date given below in the M.L. Harris Auditorium. Entry is on a first-come-first-seated basis until the lecture hall is full. Tickets are not required. For more information, call 370-5354.
Sept. 19: Actor Charles S. Dutton. Winner of two Emmy awards for guest spots on "Without a Trace" and "The Practice," Dutton has been a familiar face in Hollywood for years, starring in films like "Aliens 3," "Cry the Beloved Country," "A Time to Kill," "Mississippi Masala," "Get on the Bus," and others.
Oct. 17: Daymond John, entrepreneur, investor, author and cast member of ABC’s Shark Tank. The founder and CEO of FUBU brand clothing, a $4 billion per year corporation.
Nov. 14: TV producer Bryant Huddleston. A native of Imboden (where he was disinvited from speaking at the high school graduation last fall because he is openly gay), Huddleston began his career in news before jointing NBC's Access Hollywood, and later launched tje Bravo reality series, Property Envy.
Jan. 9: Judy Smith, founder and president of Smith & Company, a strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, which served as the inspiration for the ABC series Scandal. Smith, a former deputy press secretary in the George H.W. Bush White House, has worked with a number of high-profile clients over the years, including those involved in the collapse of Enron, actor Wesley Snipes, NFL quarterback and dog-fighter Michael Vick, and chef Paula Deen.
Feb. 13: Mayda del Valle. One of O Magazine's 20-woman "O Power List," poet and spoken word artist Mayda del Valle is the youngest poet to ever win the National Poetry Slam Individual Championship, and was later offered a spot as a writer and in the cast of Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, which won a Tony Award.
March 20: Evangelist Paula White. White is senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center, a megachurch in Apopka, Fla.. Her Paula White Ministries builds orphanages, schools, churches, wells and food stations around the world in countries such as Haiti, Africa and India.