MLK Prayer Breakfast to Feature Inspirational Speaker Patricia Russell-McCloud

Patricia Russell-McCloud, writer and attorney.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Association of Asheville and Buncombe County, Inc. will host its 36th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast on Saturday, January 14, 2017.

The breakfast will be at the Crowne Plaza Resort on Resort Drive at 8:30 a.m., with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. The theme of the 2017 King Celebration events will be “Stand up, Speak out, and Unfold the Dream for Today.”

“This is not a time to feel hopeless and uninspired and just fade into the woodwork,” said Oralene Graves Simmons, founder of the Prayer Breakfast. In light of decades of progress and some setbacks in accomplishing Dr. King’s vision, she noted, “His dream can still unfold today.”

Keynote speaker for the 2017 Prayer Breakfast will be Patricia Russell-McCloud, writer, attorney, and long considered one of the nation’s best public speakers. She encourages her listeners to surmount every obstacle that stands between them and whatever they dream of accomplishing. Her reputation as an engaging, substantive, well-researched, pertinent, and entertaining speaker has been honed by 30 years of public life, as a lawyer, writer, and inspirational figure.

That engaging style and emphasis on enthusiastic embrace of life transfers as well to her books. Russell-McCloud is the author of A is for Attitude: An Alphabet for Living (HarperCollins Publishing, 1999). The book is designed to affirm possibilities through chapters on Attitude, Meditation, Courage, Heritage, Genius, and Effort, among others. With content and clarity, the author offers pertinent and poignant life reflections that urge the reader to “move past the status quo, shift the paradigm, and break out of a comfort zone.”

She also wrote the 2013 volume, My Journal: Inside Out (LeTay Publishing, 2013), a memoir and self-help book based on her own path through life.

As a bonus to Prayer Breakfast attendees, Russell-McCloud will sign copies of her books following the breakfast; books may be pre-ordered from the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assoc. website at

An Indianapolis native, Russell-McCloud earned her Juris Doctorate at Howard University School of Law in Washington, DC, after which she studied at Harvard and served as an attorney with the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, DC. She is also a member of The Links, Incorporated, an African American women’s service organization with a strong presence in Asheville. This will be her second appearance to speak at the MLK Prayer Breakfast.

Tickets for the breakfast may be purchased for $25 each. Patron tickets are available for $35, with patron names included in the program journal. Tickets may be ordered online at or by calling (828) 281-1624.

In addition to the Prayer Breakfast, the MLK Association holds other events commemorating Dr. King and building upon his legacy of peace and justice. On Monday, Jan. 16, the official King Holiday, a Peace March and Rally takes place beginning at 11:30 a.m. at St. James AME Church at Martin Luther King Drive and Hildebrand Street, followed at noon by a march to City-County Plaza. That evening at 6 p.m. a Candlelight Service—this year at Central United Methodist Church’s Fellowship Hall—honors area citizens and organizations that have dedicated themselves to the cause of social justice.

For information and details, contact Mrs. Oralene Graves Simmons at (828) 281-1624.


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