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Gala Opening on June 2 for International Conference at Temple University

Philadelphia, PA–May 25, 2010

Photo: traditional stained glass window in Baptist TempleThe Institute on Disabilities in the College of Education at Temple University will be hosting the Annual Conference of the Society for Disability Studies—a gathering of scholars from around the world—on June 2, 2010 through June 5, 2010.

The conference will begin with an opening night gala on June 2 at the newly renovated Baptist Temple on the main campus of Temple University.

The evening will be an exciting and moving tribute to the life and work of Teddy Pendergrass, an award-winning singer, significant contributor to the development of the "Philly Sound," and an advocate for people with disabilities.

The featured performer for the evening will be Melba Moore, entertainer, Broadway actress and recording artist. Ms. Moore began her career in the ground breaking musical "Hair," and went on to star in the "The Melba Moore / Clifton Davis Show," the mini-series "Ellis Island," and had R & B and pop hits "This Is It," "You Stepped Into My Life," and as well as recording her Grammy nominated signature song, "Lean On Me." After her Tony-award winning performance as Lutiebelle Gussiemae Jenkins in the long running musical "Purlie," Ms. Moore became the first black actress to step into a role in the milestone Broadway musical "Les Miserables." In addition to her busy career, Ms. Moore is an ardent advocate for the rights of children resulting in her "Melba Moore Foundation for Abused & Neglected Children."

Offering his perspective of the life of Teddy Pendergrass will be Kenneth Gamble, a Philadelphia native who has enjoyed a more than 40-year career as a performer, songwriter and producer, culminating in the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Greetings from Temple University and from the College of Education will be bestowed by Dr. Richard M. Englert, Interim Provost at Temple University, and Dr. C. Kent McGuire, Dean of the College of Education, Temple University.

One of the highlights of the evening will be the performance of Philadelphia's Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church Choir and the reflections from its pastor, Reverend Dr. Alyn E. Waller.

In addition to a presentation to Joan Pendergrass, the widow of Teddy Pendergrass, The Honorable Shirley Kitchen, State Senator, Third District of Philadelphia will present a Senatorial Proclamation making June 2, 2010 "Teddy Pendergrass Day" in Philadelphia. The evening culminates in a performance by Laurence Clark, whose comedy, including his current show "Spastic Fantastic" is very much shaped by his outlook on life as a disabled person.

The gala begins at 6 p.m. is free and open to the public. The Baptist Temple is located on North Broad Street, on the main campus of Temple University.

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