October 16th, 2015

AP Invitation

Alabamians love to tell stories.  Stories are how we understand ourselves and the world around us. They are also agents of personal and public transformation.

We want to invite you to honor two friends whose very different stories converge in their identities as Alabamians: Bill Jones and Shelley Stewart.

Bill Jones retired last year as the CEO of O’Neal Industries. However, he has remained deeply engaged in strengthening our community. Bill is the co-chair of the Bold Goals Education Coalition, which is a collective impact initiative working to prepare every student for college, career, and life. He is also quarterbacking efforts to complete the Rotary Trail and transform “the cut” into a greenway connecting Railroad Park to Sloss Furnaces.

As a young boy, Shelley Stewart watched his father kill his mother. He survived years of homelessness to become “Shelley the Playboy.” As a radio DJ, Shelley’s fan base included both white and African American youth, which turned him into a target of the KKK. He would not be intimidated and broadcast coded messages to young civil rights demonstrators telling them when and where marches would occur.  He went on to co-found the advertising firm now known as O2ideas and currently leads the Mattie C. Stewart Foundation.

Please join us on Tuesday, October 27, from 6 until 9 p.m. at The Florentine as Bill and Shelley share their stories and discuss what it means to be an Alabamian. All proceeds will benefit Alabama Possible, a statewide 501(c)(3) nonprofit which removes barriers to prosperity for the 900,000 Alabamians who live below the poverty line through research, engaged learning, poverty simulations, and promoting college access and success.

Learn about how you can support the event and Alabama Possible’s work atalabamapossible.org/alabamian