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Steward Speakers ready to kick off new season

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A new lineup of powerful and influential speakers is getting ready to continue the Steward Speakers Series tradition of introducing Indianapolis to African American leaders from across the country.

The first event — My Vision, My Power — is 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Warren Performing Arts Center, 9500 E. 16th St.

Speakers include Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, founding member of Run-DMC; Adrianne Slash, president of The Exchange at Indianapolis Urban League; Nuri Muhammad, student minister for the Nation of Islam; George Fraser, chairman and CEO of FraserNET; and Lauren Simmons, a trader at the New York Stock Exchange.

The discussion will cover politics, culture, religion and economics. Roland Martin, host of the daily online show “Roland Martin Unfiltered,” will moderate the discussion.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $15 for students at stewardspeakers.org.

Matthew Steward, president of Steward Speakers, started the series in 1986 and opened with comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. The series has since welcomed guests such as Steve Harvey, Eric Holder and Viola Davis.

“People are who they see,” Steward said in an interview with the Recorder in May. “And that’s what we’re hoping for the speaker series to do, to bring those national role models to let the community see that these are just regular people that started, many of them, from humble beginnings and rose to the level they did.”

The 2020 lineup for stand-alone speakers includes actor and comedian Rickey Smiley at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Madam Walker Legacy Center, 617 Indiana Ave., and former U.N. ambassador Susan Rice at 7:30 p.m. March 2 at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd.


The new Steward Speakers season kicks off with a panel featuring a wide variety of expertise.

• Who: Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Adrianne Slash, Nuri Muhammad, George Fraser and Lauren Simmons

• When: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29

• Where: Warren Performing Arts Center, 9500 E. 16th St.

• Tickets: $40 for adults and $15 for students at stewardspeakers.org


• Rickey Smiley — 7:30 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Madam Walker Legacy Center, 617 Indiana Ave.

• Susan Rice — 7:30 p.m. March 2 at the IUPUI Campus Center, 420 University Blvd. 


The Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males will hold the 19th annual Black Male State Conference, which includes an opening plenary, three general sessions open to all and a keynote speech by Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons. Contact jgarrett@icssbm.in.gov or call 317-233-1744 for more information.

• When: 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 29

• Where: Indiana Government Center South, 302 W. Washington St.

• Tickets: $15 for youth, $25 for adults at eventbrite.com

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