Home Local News Khalil Ekulona keynotes Vanderbilt MLK Day Commemoration ahead of Gymnastics event

Khalil Ekulona keynotes Vanderbilt MLK Day Commemoration ahead of Gymnastics event

by Cass Teague
Khalil Ekulona will give the Keynote at the VU MLK Commemoration.

Khalil Ekulona, host of the Nashville Public Radio program This Is Nashville, will be the keynote speaker for Vanderbilt University’s 2024 Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration. The keynote is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 15, in Sarratt Cinema and is open to the university community. All attendees will receive a gift at the conclusion of the event. The event also will be livestreamed. Please pre-regiter for the event at: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/mlk/

The theme of this year’s MLK Day commemoration is “One Vanderbilt. One Nashville. One Dream.” The theme is a nod to the history of the university, where generations of Nashvillians have come together to learn and serve. As King mentioned in his historic 1963 address at the Lincoln Memorial: “We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.”

Ekulona is the current host of WPLN’s noontime show, This Is Nashville, a live one-hour daily show driven by community, for community. Ekulona’s flagship program of WPLN News is designed to be your one-stop-shop for news in Nashville and Middle Tennessee, as the team continues to show up each day. The team also consists of Elizabeth Burton, Multimedia Producer; Magnolia McKay, Multimedia Producer; Char Daston, Multimedia Producer; and Andrea Tudhope, Founding Executive Producer.

Khalil Ekulona has established himself as a beloved voice in Middle Tennessee. Khalil is an engaging, empathetic and insightful interviewer, and a vibrant personality. Ekulona recently served as the host and producer of No More Normal, a pandemic-focused radio show at KUNM in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He has also served as the co-host of Good Day New Mexico on KOB4 and as a correspondent with New Mexico PBS.

Born in New Jersey and raised in Maryland, Ekulona received his bachelor’s in political science from Elon University. He also spent time in Los Angeles, where he worked as an educator for at-risk high school students and as a film producer. He is the founder of the hip-hop group Fresh Air.

Following the Keynote at Sarratt Cinema, be sure to attend the Fisk Gymnastics MLK Day Meet at Memorial Gym: Monday, Jan. 15, 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. in Vandy’s Memorial Gym. America’s first HBCU gymnastics team, the Fisk University Lady Bulldogs, is making history again.Fisk University is hosting a joint gymnastics match that will bring the nation’s only African American women head gymnastics coaches together for competition.

The historic meet will be held Monday afternoon at Vanderbilt University’s Memorial Gymnasium. For the first time, Brown University, Iowa State University, Rutgers University, Talladega University, William & Mary University and Fisk University will come together under one roof to compete, led by their head coaches Brittany Harris, Ashley Miles Grieg, Umme Salim-Beasley, Aja Sims-Fletcher, Kelsey Hinton and Corrinne Tarver, respectively.

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