MSU’s Orators Lecture Series to feature Mississippi Urban League leader

Contact: Callie Simonton

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Portia Ballard Espy, the chief executive officer of the Mississippi Urban League, is the featured speaker in Feb. 15’s Orators Lecture Series, a collaboration between Mississippi State University’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College and College of Arts and Sciences’ Institute for the Humanities.

Portia Ballard Espy
Portia Ballard Espy (Submitted photo)

Espy’s 4 p.m. lecture is titled "Exploring our Future . . . Are You, My Family?" and will be held in Griffis Hall’s Forum Room 401. The event, which is free and open to the public, is the third lecture of the 2022-23 series and continues its theme of “Family Secrets and Societal Roles: Finding Meaning in Human Connectivity.” It also serves as part of MSU’s Black History Month celebration.

The Mississippi Urban League works to empower African Americans and other underserved communities in Mississippi through economic self-reliance, power and civil rights. It seeks to accomplish its mission through programs focusing on health, justice, jobs, education and housing.

Shackouls Honors College Dean Tommy Anderson said the college is excited to host Espy as the keynote speaker on family connectivity.

“Dr. Espy is a leader in advocating for policies that help strengthen communities of color throughout the state, which makes our entire state stronger, healthier and more equitable,” Anderson said.

For questions about the event, email Donna Clevinger, honors college senior faculty fellow, communication professor and Orators Lecture Series moderator, at or call 662-325-2522.

Part of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences, the Institute for the Humanities online at Visit for more information about MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.

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