A veteran attorney who also has been a university law professor will be the keynote speaker for the 23rd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Luncheon in Mount Airy next week.
Debra Ragin Jessup, who lives in Westfield, has built a distinguished career in both the legal and educational fields and is expected to offer an engaging and insightful address during her upcoming appearance at the MLK luncheon.
It is scheduled Monday at 11 a.m. in the J.J. Jones Alumni Auditorium on Jones School Road in Mount Airy.
The annual luncheon allows local residents to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King through music, special remarks and other activities. About 125 people attended the gathering last year, according to Anise Hickman, program chairperson for the event.
Tickets cost $10. “They are still being sold,” Hickman said. “We printed 150 tickets.” Teresa Spencer of Spencer Funeral Home on North Main Street in Mount Airy is the main contact for tickets.
The luncheon is sponsored by Surry County Chapter 5459 of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Last year was the first time for the event to be held at the historic auditorium, after it was moved from a local church. The new venue offers a spacious setting for a program that typically is attended by Mount Airy municipal officials among others.
About The Speaker
Jessup, the luncheon speaker, has a long list of professional accomplishments to her credit, which includes working as an attorney for nearly 25 years.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University in 1982, Jessup went on to earn a juris doctor degree from Wake Forest University School of Law in 1988.
She has worked for various law firms and presently is with Vrsecky, Probst & Associates in Winston-Salem, where she specializes in employment issues such as sexual harassment, racial discrimination and gender discrimination.
Jessup also has made her mark in the academic field, including serving as adjunct professor at the University of South Florida in Sarasota/Manatee in 2010 and 2011 — teaching courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels on subjects including business law.
In addition, Jessup was an assistant professor and lecturer in legal studies at Wake Forest University from 1997 to 2007.
The MLK luncheon speaker also has authored publications for journals on such topics as workplace violence, and delivered academic presentations on subjects including the anatomy of fraudulent behavior.
Another professional endeavor had Jessup serving as director of diversity for the business schools at Wake Forest University, which involved recruiting diverse students for master’s degree programs.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or civitasmedia.com.