Tickets on sale through Jan. 20 for Ivy Tech’s annual celebration of MLK legacy

Last Updated on January 11, 2017 by cassnetwork

KOKOMO, Ind. – Tickets are on sale now for Ivy Tech Community College’s annual community banquet in celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s edition will feature Emmy Award-winning television personality, best-selling author, and inspirational life coach Iyanla Vanzant. The event is set for Thursday, Jan. 26, in the Bel Air Events Center, 3014 S. Webster St.

This is the 13th year for “Doing the Dream” events at Ivy Tech’s Kokomo Campus. Previous guest speakers have included best-selling authors and award-winning television personalities Henry Louis Gates Jr., LeVar Burton, and John Quiñones. These events are presented by Ivy Tech’s Kokomo and Lafayette Region.

Individual tickets for the community banquet, which will begin at 6 p.m. Jan. 26, are $50 and can be purchased online at by the Jan. 20 deadline. Seating is limited to the first 380 people who register and more than 250 tickets have already been sold.

Vanzant, host and executive producer of “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” the No. 1 reality show on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, also will speak to an expected audience of hundreds of high school and college students at a free convocation the next morning.

Major sponsors include Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), which is underwriting the banquet for the fifth year, and the Community Foundation of Howard County, whose grant supports the student convocation.

“In her life, Iyanla Vanzant has moved from an abused child and a young, divorced welfare mother to become a lawyer, ordained minister, New York Times best-selling author, and Emmy Award-winning television host,” said David Bathe, chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Kokomo and Lafayette Region.

“In her books and in her appearances, she draws from her life experiences, her education, and her work with people all over the world to offer guidance and insight to attain a better, more peaceful, more constructive life,” Bathe continued. “We look forward to the inspiration she can bring to our community and to the young people who will join us at the convocation.”

Vanzant has published 17 books, including six New York Times best sellers, which have been translated into 23 languages and have sold more than eight million copies. She earned an Emmy Award in 2005 for the television series “Starting Over” and also was nominated in 2006 and 2007 for her work as a co-host of the series.

Known as a dynamic speaker, spiritual teacher, and life coach, she is founder of Inner visions Institute for Spiritual Development, offering personal development courses and on-going training programs for spiritual life coaches and ordained ministers.

Vanzant is a proponent of education. After a traumatic childhood, an early and abusive marriage, and with three children she was raising as a single mother on public assistance, Vanzant said she was inspired by a sign on the bus to change her life by attending Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, N.Y. Three years later she graduated summa cum laude and entered the City University of New York Law School at Queens College, becoming a lawyer who worked for three years with the Philadelphia Public Defender’s office. Learning that was not the right choice for her life, she began her journey to a life dedicated to empowering others.

Her first published work, “Tapping the Power Within: A Path to Self-Empowerment for Black Women,” came out in 1988. Her radio work has included appearances on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” (Radio One); “The Michael Baisden Show” (ABC); and “The Tavis Smiley Show” and “Tell Me More with Michel Martin” (both on NPR). Her TV work includes the daytime drama “Starting Over” on NBC (2004-2006); her own daytime talk show, “Iyanla,” produced by Barbara Walters and Billy Getty (2001-2002); and numerous appearances on “Oprah” (1998-1999). Her series, “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” premiered in September 2012.

Among awards she has received, she lists being named one of the country’s most influential African Americans (Ebony Magazine 2004), one of the country’s 100 most influential women (Women’s Day Magazine 2003); and one of the “most dynamic speakers in the United States” (Emerge Magazine 2000).

To reserve tickets for the community banquet, go to . To get more information about participating in the student convocation, contact Allison Toren, program chair of Professional Communication and a lead on the “Doing the Dream” activities, at 765-252-5518 or

Ivy Tech Community College is the state’s largest public postsecondary institution and the nation’s largest singly accredited statewide community college system.  Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana. It serves as the state’s engine of workforce development, offering affordable degree programs and training that are aligned with the needs of its community along with courses and programs that transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana. It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association.

Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region serves Cass, Fulton, Howard, Miami, and Tipton counties and includes campuses or instructional sites in the communities of Kokomo, Logansport, Peru, and Rochester.

SOURCE: News release from Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region

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