Tracy Martin, the father of the late Trayvon Martin, will speak at Texas Tech's Black Excellence Gala.

The event, hosted by the Iota Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, is part of the school's celebration of Black History month.

In addition to Martin, Texas Tech's guest speakers this month include author and broadcaster Tavis Smiley and activist Angela Davis.

Read the full news release below:

With African-American History month nearing, Texas Tech’s Iota Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. is preparing for its annual Black Excellence Gala at 6:45 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Lubbock Civic Center. The gala will celebrate African-American lives through poetry, music and live performances.

This year, Tracy Martin, father of the late Trayvon Martin, will be the keynote speaker and will speak on the importance of African-American lives and bring awareness about the African-American population in the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities.

“We are more than excited to bring Tracy Martin to Texas Tech to aid in the efforts of diversity the university is working toward,” said Bobby Akinboro, social chairman of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. “We hope this event brings about a revitalization of humanity of all people, no matter race.”

The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and formal attire is required for the event.

Tickets must be purchased in advance to attend the gala. Cost of attendance is $20 for students, $30 for faculty and staff and $40 for the Lubbock community. Tickets can be purchased through Akinboro.

The gala will begin with a dinner, followed by live performances and a scholarship presentation in honor of Raymond J. Martin, a Texas Tech graduate student and Kappa Alpha Psi member who died of liver cancer in 2010.

“The commitment the men of Kappa Alpha Psi have made to emphasize the importance of community service, social welfare and academic scholarship reinforces the university’s dedication to student success,” said Harriette Baker, assistant director of Texas Tech’s fraternity and sorority life. “It is important for the student leaders at Texas Tech to take the time each year to remind the greater university community of our shared responsibility to uphold the principles and values the organization and institution were founded on.”

The Iota Upsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, founded in 1979, strives to leave long-lasting impacts through community service, events and social activities.


Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman during an altercation between the two in Sanford, Florida.