Wil Haygood to speak Jan. 19 as part of The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series

Wil Haygood

The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series, hosted by the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center in Benton Harbor, welcomes Wil Haygood, acclaimed biographer, Pulitzer finalist, award-winning author, and reporter at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023.

This New York Times bestselling author tells the story of America through the lens of history, politics, sports, race, and the lives of change-making African-Americans. Best known as the author of the bestsellers “The Butler” and “Showdown,” his work has chronicled America’s civil rights journey through acclaimed biographies of Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Sammy Davis, Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Eugene Allen, the real-life inspiration for Lee Daniels’ award-winning film, “The Butler. “

Haygood’s latest book, “Colorization: One Hundred Years of Black Films in a White World,” is the subject of his upcoming Speaker Series presentation. Considered one of the Best Books of 2021 by NPR, “Colorization” gives an unprecedented history of Black cinema and a groundbreaking perspective on racism in modern America.

Haygood’s talent for looking at events from multiple points of view comes from his background as a journalist. For thirty years, he was a national and foreign correspondent for the Washington Post and Boston Globe. From covering the Rodney King uprisings in Los Angeles, KKK rallies throughout the Carolinas, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the anti-apartheid movement in America, the electrifying rise of Barack Obama, and inequalities in the criminal justice system, Haygood’s work has garnered a variety of national honors. While at the Globe, he was honored as a Pulitzer Prize finalist for feature writing.

This Speaker Series event is part of MLK Celebration Week at LMC.

Reserved seats ($30 - $60) are on sale now at www.TheMendelCenter.com/events, by calling 269-927-8700, option 1, or by visiting The Mendel Center Box Office in person. The box office is open on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

High school and college students are invited to attend a free Student Q&A session with Wil Haygood at 6:25 p.m. in Grand Upton Hall. Registration is strongly encouraged at www.TheMendelCenter.com/events

This activity is supported by the Michigan Arts and Culture Council.

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About The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan Speaker Series

Established in 1943, the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan has brought more than 430 world leaders, policymakers, experts, and other newsmakers to the region. Its goal is to provide unique opportunities for personal and community growth. By presenting national and international speakers from a wide range of fields and expertise, this non-partisan series is dedicated to the discussion of social, economic, and public policy questions important in today’s complex society.

About the Lake Michigan College Mendel Center

The Lake Michigan College Mendel Center raised the curtain on its first Mainstage season performance in the fall of 1992. Since then, it has presented Mainstage season performances to more than half a million patrons in the 1,559-seat Mendel Center Mainstage Theatre. Grand Upton Hall, first opened in 1979 and fully renovated in 2019, is a 13,700-square-foot venue serving the community as the host site for meetings, banquets, trade shows, weddings, and other celebrations. The 229-seat Hanson Theatre, which was renovated in 2020, hosts numerous Lake Michigan College Visual & Performing Arts Department performances as well as a variety of Mendel Center and community events.

The Mendel Center is 30 minutes from Niles and 40 minutes from the Kalamazoo and South Bend areas. It is located on the Lake Michigan College campus at 2755 E. Napier Avenue, Benton Harbor, Michigan, one mile east of I-94 (Exit 30) and one mile west of the US 31 Bypass (exit 24). Its GPS mapping address is 1100 Yore Avenue, Benton Harbor, MI.

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Mendel Center 2022-2023 Season Sponsors

Stage Side Sponsors: 1st Source Bank, Honor Credit Union, Huntington National Bank, Kruggel Lawton CPAs, Meijer, Silver Beach Pizza, Silver Harbor Brewing Company, Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, Sturgis Bank, TPC Technologies, Wales Wealth Management Group, Whirlpool Corporation.

Platinum Sponsor:Brookview Montessori School, CK Catering, Hungerford Nichols CPA + Advisors, Imperial Furniture, Insurance Management Services, JVIS USA, Pier 33, Siena Heights University, United Federal Credit Union, Wolf Financial Advisory.

Media Partners: 97.5 Y Country, 98.3 The Coast, The Herald Palladium, The Lake 95.7 MailMax, News/Talk 94.9 WSJM, Rock 107 WIRX, Sunny 101.5, SuperHits 103.7

Preferred Partner Hotels: The Inn at Harbor Shores and The Boulevard Inn & Bistro