DATE:  January 11, 2008
CONTACT: Angela Walker 361.825.2612; or Cassandra Hinojosa 361.825.2337
Professor who Escaped Ghetto to Form Internet University Will Speak at Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Award-winning author, professor and educational consultant, Dr. Joe Martin, will be the keynote speaker at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 11 a.m. in the University Center, Lone Star Ballroom.

Martin is founder and president of RealWorld University, an Internet resource center designed to help students meet the personal and professional challenges of college and life. His speech will echo the theme of this year’s celebration, “The Dream is in Your Hands.” The celebration, which will include a book signing and musical performances, is sponsored by the African American Cultural Society and the Islander Cultural Alliance. The event is free and open to the public.

King, the father of the 1960s American civil rights movement, was born Jan. 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Ga. A Baptist minister and outspoken advocate of non-violent protest, at the age of 35 he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

His quote, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” was delivered in a historic speech to civil rights supporters at the March on Washington in August 1963.

Martin was reared in one of the toughest inner-city ghettos in Miami, Fla., and lost six friends to violence, drugs and crime before he reached age 16. He was the first member of his family to receive a high school diploma and went on to college at the University of West Florida where he graduated at the top of his class. At the age of 24, he became the youngest tenured professor to ever teach at a state university in Florida.

He is the publisher and host of the “Educator Motivator Audio of the Month” program in which he interviews the country’s top educators on their best practices both in and out of the classroom. In addition to appearing on numerous television and radio programs, Martin is the author of seven books, including “Tricks of the Grade: Street-Smart Strategies for Acing College” and “Good Teachers Never Quit: 50 Ways to Keep the Fire Burning without Burning Out.”