Nashville, Tenn., April 12, 2019–Civil rights activist Reverend Alfred C. Sharpton Jr., will deliver the 2019 keynote address during the 145thcommencement exercise for Fisk University. Graduation ceremonies will be held at Mt. Zion Baptist Church (Old Hickory Blvd), on Monday, May 6, 2019 beginning at 10:00am. 

“It is an honor and privilege for the Fisk community to have Rev. Al Sharpton delivering remarks to our 2019 graduating class,” said President Kevin D. Rome, Sr., Ph.D. “He has lived an extraordinary life full of accomplishments and made a significant impact on our community. I know that his words will inspire our graduates to create positive change in their communities after graduating Fisk.”

Rev. Sharpton is one of America’s most-renowned civil rights leaders, having served as a community leader, politician, minister and advocate for over 40 years. As founder and president of the National Action Network (NAN), Sharpton fights for progressive people-based social policies by providing voter education and registration campaigns, economic support for small community businesses and confronting corporate racism. Sharpton became interested in politics at age 12 and founded the National Youth Movement (NYM) in 1971. Under his 17-year leadership, the NYM registered thousands of young people to vote, won hundreds of job opportunities and led the fight to put the first African American on the New York State Metropolitan Transit Authority Board. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election.

For more information on the 145thcommencement exercises, please visit

About Fisk University

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is a private, liberal arts university located in Nashville, Tennessee. Consistently recognized for its brand of academic excellence, Fisk is ranked No. 6 on the Top 10 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report. Fisk ranked No. 1 in the nation for social mobility and No. 3 in the nation in research among top liberal arts colleges in research expenditures in the 2018 rankings of National Liberal Arts Institutions by The Washington Monthly.  The school’s faculty was rated No. 4 position among Tennessee Universities by the Department of Education. To learn more about Fisk University, please visit                                                                           ###