Ray Charles Robinson Jr., the oldest son of music icon Ray Charles, speaks 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16, in Kilcawley Center on the campus of Youngstown State University as part of the Skeggs Lecture Series. The topic of the lecture is “Character, Education, Self-Reliance and Intellectual Independence.”
The lecture is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Free parking is available in the M1 parking deck on Wick Avenue. For more information, contact the YSU Office of Alumni and Events at 330-941-3497.
In addition to the public lecture, Robinson will attend a screening of the movie about his father, “Ray,” at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 in the auditorium in the new Williamson Hall at YSU. The screening a question-and-answer session that follows are free and open to the public.
Robinson will also visit Williamson Elementary School in Youngstown at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, to talk with students about character. And at noon that day, Robinson will attend a performance by students in YSU’s jazz program at the Butler Institute of American Art.
Robinson is an independent film producer. He was co-executive producer of Ray Charles: 50 Years of Music; co-producer of Christmas Jubilee/Ray Charles with the Voices of Jubilation; producer and appeared in Black Prince, an Anetole Ivonov Film, and a Grand Jury Prize award winner of the New York International Independent Film Festival; co-producer of Ray; and co-producer of Hotel California, in addition to many other projects.
He is the author of You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father Ray Charles, which offers an intimate glimpse of the man behind the music. You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father Ray Charles was the winner of the 2011 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work for a Biography/ Autobiography. He is the founder of the Ray Charles Jr. Foundation for America, a public charity with an enduring commitment for creating positive, lasting results through implementing innovative solutions to critical social issues impacting economically challenged communities across America.
The Skeggs Lecture was established in 1966 in memory of the late Leonard T. Skeggs Sr. Skeggs came to Youngstown in 1919 as educational secretary of the YMCA. In 1924, he became general secretary, a position held until his death in 1933. It was Skeggs who prompted Howard W. Jones to become the first president of what eventually became YSU. He was also instrumental in raising funds for the fledgling school.