CNN Legal Analyst Joey Jackson to Deliver Commencement Address

Allen University will recognize the accomplishments of its soon-to-be graduates during its upcoming spring 2019 commencement weekend festivities, which will be held Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11.

The university will confer baccalaureate degrees to nearly 70 graduates at its commencement ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at the John Hurst Adams Gymnatorium. Doors will open 8 a.m. for ticket holders; all other guests will be allowed to enter at 9 a.m.

Joey Jackson, a legal analyst for CNN and HLN, as well as a partner at New York City-based Watford Jackson, PLLC, will serve as the commencement speaker.

A member of the New York Bar since 1995, Jackson is a nationally recognized criminal defense attorney. After two decades of successfully defending individuals and labor unions in state and federal court, he started his own law firm, along with long-time mentor and co-counsel Gregory J. Watford. Their full-service law firm handles criminal defense, labor and employment, civil service law, wills, civil rights litigation, wrongful death and contract disputes. A former New York County assistant district attorney, Jackson maintained a successful career as a prosecutor, and received the Distinguished Public Service Award.

His straight-talking legal expertise is highly valued, and he has frequently appeared on various cable news programs over the last decade. He is currently employed with CNN and HLN.

While attending Hofstra Law School, Jackson served as editor for the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal. Prior to law school, Jackson earned his Master of Public Administration from SUNY Albany’s Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Brockport.

Allen University’s Baccalaureate Service will kick off the commencement weekend activities at 7 p.m. Friday, May 10 in Chappelle Auditorium. The traditional service will feature Dr. Jamal-Dominique Hopkins, dean and associate professor of religion and theology of the Allen University Dickerson-Green Theological Seminary.

A noted religious studies scholar, Hopkins is the only known expert of African descent on the Dead Sea Scrolls. He has lectured and presented research on various topics at institutions such as Princeton Theological Seminary; Boston University; Oberlin College; the W.E.B. Du Bois Society at Harvard University, the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and Durham University in England.

Hopkins has authored numerous publications, including his most recent article, “The Shaping and Influence of King’s Political Theology and Worldview,” published in the 2018 Telos Journal special edition, Martin Luther King, Jr. Fifty Years On.

Prior to developing his passion for ministry, the native Californian used his oratory skills to reach a different type of audience. He grew up as a child actor, appearing on stage and in film with such notables as Malcolm Jamal Warner (“The Cosby Show”), Larron Tate (“Barbershop”) and Martin Mull (“Two and a Half Men”).

Ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hopkins earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University, a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California and a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester (Manchester, England). He and wife, Karen, reside in Columbia and are parents of seven children.