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ESPN’s Jay Harris and Actor Mel Jackson to emcee and keynote MEAC∙SWAC Challenge Luncheon

August 23, 2007

ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jay Harris and actor Mel Jackson will team up to serve as emcee and keynote speaker at the 2007 MEAC-SWAC Challenge Kick-Off Luncheon Friday, August 31 at 12 p.m. CT at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel (Grand Ballroom).


The luncheon will spotlight the schools, players and coaches participating in the third annual MEAC-SWAC Challenge college football game. This year’s event, which is owned-and-operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), will feature a matchup between Florida A&M University (MEAC) and Southern University (SWAC). The game will be nationally televised live on ESPN Classic Saturday, September 1 at 2 p.m. CT from Birmingham, Alabama’s Legion Field.

In addition to the Kick-Off Luncheon, other events associated with MEAC·SWAC Challenge week include a VIP Welcome Reception (Aug. 30), High School Career Panel 101 presented by Team ESPN and Bright House Networks (Aug. 31) MEAC-SWAC Step Correct Step Show Challenge and The Great Tailgate (Sept. 1).

Harris joined ESPN in February 2003 as an ESPNEWS and SportsCenter anchor. In fall of 2006, he was named anchor of the 5 p.m. CT edition of SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship sports news and information program.

Harris came to ESPN from WPGH-TV in Pittsburgh, Pa. where he was a news anchor/reporter. With more than 14 years experience in television and radio news, Harris was a morning anchor at WAMO-FM in Pittsburgh and at WOWI-FM in his hometown of Norfolk, Va.

Jackson is considered a Hollywood leading man on the rise. Discovered in Chicago, Ill, with no formal training, he landed the leading part in the film Scenes for the Soul. Most noted for his performance in the box office hit Soul Food, Jackson has also appeared on the FOX sitcom, Living Single and on the UPN sitcom, In the House.

Jackson has showcased his comic talents as a series regular on NBC sitcom DAG. His television guest starring appearances include NYPD Blue, The Jamie Foxx Show, The Steve Harvey Show and For Your Love. His film credits include Uninvited Guest, Dancing in September, Deliver Us from Eva, Built for Speed – The Little Richard Story, Motives and The Temptations (mini-series).

Currently, Jackson is starring in Motives 2 and the soon-to-be released A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Oct. 2007). In the upcoming year, he hopes to take on the challenge of directing.

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