Dr. Vashti Murphy McKenzie will be the Spring Convocation guest speaker to celebrate Black History Month at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Health and Physical Education Complex at Southern University Shreveport, according to Dr. Ray L. Belton, chancellor of Southern.
Reverend Dr. Vashti McKenzie is a woman of firsts. She was the first woman to pastor at Payne Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland. On July 11, 2000, the AME Church elected her its first female bishop in its 213-year history.
Dr. McKenzie was born into the well-known Murphy clan of Baltimore, an established family with a history in publishing, politics and the social advancement of the Negro.
Her great grandfather, John H. Murphy, started the Afro-American Newspaper in 1892; her grandfather Carl H. Murphy succeeded his father as publisher and editor, and her grandmother Vashti Turly Murphy was a founding member of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a Christian African-American college sorority that currently has a national membership of more than 250,000.
This event is sponsored by the SUSLA Division of Student Affairs led by Dr. Sharon Green, vice chancellor and Dr. Melva Turner, assistant vice chancellor.