International president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to offer keynote address at MLK Prayer Breakfast

International president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. to offer keynote address at MLK Prayer Breakfast
January 12
12:44 2023

On the day set aside to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., more than 1,000 people of all ages from different cultural backgrounds will come together to honor King’s legacy during The Chronicle’s annual Dr.Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast. 

For the past 22 years the breakfast, which focuses on advancing King’s dream of racial harmony and equity, has kicked off King Day celebrations throughout the city. This year’s event will be held on Jan. 16 at 8 a.m. at the Benton Convention. 

James Taylor, publisher of The Chronicle, said the breakfast represents our community. “You have organizations and people from all walks of life from all over the city who come together to promote a common cause and that’s the life and the legacy of King and how it relates to our local community and it’s something we had to keep going,” Taylor said. 

The keynote address will be delivered by Chris Rey, international president of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and former mayor of Spring Lake, North Carolina. 

A native of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, by way of Spring Lake, Rey graduated high school as a track and field All-American and earned a full athletic scholarship to East Carolina State University. While at ECSU, Rey was a charter member of the Black Student Union and the NAACP chapter on campus. 

In 2008 Rey was elected as the youngest member of the Virginia Delegation to the United States Electoral College, where he officially cast the ballot to elect the president and vice president of the United States. In 2011 Rey was the youngest person ever elected to serve as mayor of Spring Lake, where he served three terms. 

A retired veteran with 22 years of combined active and national guard service, Rey is also founder and CEO of RL9 Group, Inc., a consulting firm that focuses on healthcare compliance, cyber security, business development, and diversity, equity and inclusion. He is also founder of HBCU Internship Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing internship opportunities to HBCU students around the world.

When discussing his decision to invite Rey, Taylor said with his background and vast and varied experience, it was a no-brainer. 

“Rey is a young, Black man who has a track record of fighting for the rights of others and I think that’s what King represented and that’s the message we want to put out to our community,” Taylor continued. “With his background and what he brings to the table, I think it’s going to make his speech something the community will want to hear.”

Tickets for the 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast are free but must be reserved prior to the event. For more information or to reserve tickets (two maximum per person) call 336-722-8624. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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