Angela Rye Named 2018 Keynote Speaker

Angela Rye, an acclaimed political commentator for both CNN and NPR, will be the keynote speaker for the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at Syracuse University on Jan. 28, 2018. The yearly MLK Celebration at the Carrier Dome is the largest university-sponsored event in the United States to honor King’s legacy.

Rye is an attorney and the principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy and strategic consulting firm. A leading political strategist, she is committed to ensuring positive change in the political process by building relationships for corporations, unions, nonprofits and elected officials. She has been interviewed by and provided commentary for CNN, BET, HBO, MSNBC, C-SPAN, SiriusXM, The Washington Post, Fortune, “The Today Show,” “NBC Nightly News,” “Real Time with Bill Maher” and TV-ONE.

“As the new dean of Hendricks Chapel, I’m thrilled with the selection of Angela Rye as the Dr. King keynote speaker for this year,” says the Rev. Brian E. Konkol. “She brings a distinctive and dynamic voice to our event, along with a critical message for our students, faculty, staff and community members. As we continue to build upon the legacy of Dr. King here at Syracuse University and beyond, Angela Rye will inspire us to visualize a better world and motivate us to help bring it all into being.”

In her role as principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, Rye seeks to encourage young professionals in three core areas: economic empowerment, civic engagement and political involvement.

Previously, she served as the executive director and general counsel to the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) for the 112th Congress. In this capacity, she was tasked with developing the overall legislative and political strategy for the caucus. Previous to working for the CBC, she served as senior advisor and counsel to the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Angela Rye is the 2018 MLK Celebration Keynote speaker.

This year marks the 33rd year for the Martin Luther King Celebration, with the dinner preceding the formal program, which includes Rye’s keynote address, student and community group performances, and presentation of this year’s Unsung Hero Awards, for which nominations will be accepted until Oct. 16.
On Sunday, Jan. 28, dinner precedes the program at 4:30 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m. Dinner tickets for SU faculty/staff and the general public will be available through the Schine Box Office on an individual basis ($30) or in blocks of 10 ($300). Cash, credit or interdepartmental ID may be used. All tickets are for general seating.

Student tickets are $15 and may be purchased through a meal plan at dining halls. Students without a meal plan may purchase tickets at the Schine Box Office.

The formal program, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Hendricks Chapel at 315.443.5044.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) will be available for the event. If you have requests for accessibility and accommodations, please contact the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS) office at 315.443.4018.

To request dietary or other accommodations, contact Ginny Yerdon at Hendricks Chapel at 315.443.2901 or