Get ready to be inspired, because the Horry County Democratic Party’s SHORE Dinner is just around the corner, and this year’s Keynote Speaker is none other than the remarkable Karen Gray Houston. On Sunday, October 22nd, we have the privilege of hosting an evening filled with warmth, camaraderie, and the wisdom of a truly extraordinary individual.
Karen Gray Houston’s career is a testament to her dedication and passion for journalism, spanning an impressive 41 years. She has worked at prestigious radio and television stations and networks in major cities like Boston, New York City, and Washington, DC. Her illustrious career includes a long stint at WTTG-TV, Fox-5 in Washington, DC, where she made her mark as a local news reporter. Karen’s versatility as a journalist shines through her experience as a radio and TV correspondent for NBC News, covering the Reagan White House, and her time as a reporter/anchor for WTOP News-radio in DC and WHDH-AM in Boston, along with anchoring duties on the ABC Radio Network.
But Karen’s journey in journalism doesn’t stop there. She has also contributed her expertise as a writer/associate producer at WCBS-TV in New York and as a reporter/writer/editor with United Press International in Boston. Her extensive experience has made her a household name on public affairs interview programs on prominent networks like WRC-TV, WETA-TV, WHUT-TV, WAMU Radio, and C-SPAN.
Karen’s educational background is equally impressive. She holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University and graduated cum laude from Ohio University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Karen’s roots are deeply connected to the heart of civil rights history.
As a multiple Emmy nominee, Karen Gray Houston has garnered recognition for her exceptional work. One of her notable nominations was for a story covering the Tuskegee Syphilis Study and President Bill Clinton’s apology for the government’s unethical use of black men in Macon County, Alabama, as human guinea pigs. Her dedication to investigative journalism has also earned her numerous other awards, including Best Spot News coverage awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association, the Radio Television News Directors Association, and the Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists.
Throughout her career, Karen has been at the forefront of covering some of the most pivotal moments in history. From the Boston busing desegregation crisis to the Air Florida plane crash into Washington’s 14th Street Bridge, from the 9/11 Pentagon terrorist attack to travels with Ronald Reagan, from the John Hinckley trial to the trials and tribulations of DC’s infamous Mayor Marion Barry, and the DC area sniper attacks—Karen Gray Houston has been there, delivering news with unwavering professionalism.
After retiring, Karen turned her talents to writing, penning the memoir, Daughter of the Boycott: Carrying on a Montgomery Family’s Civil Rights Legacy. This remarkable book takes readers on a deeply personal journey as Karen delves into the lives of her father and uncle, Attorneys Thomas Gray and Fred Gray, both dedicated Civil Rights activists.
Her father and uncle played pivotal roles in the 1950s, leading the effort to register voters and standing up against police brutality. Her father’s key role in helping integrate Montgomery, Alabama’s buses after Rosa Parks’ arrest is a testament to their dedication. He organized the vast carpool system that kept Black residents off city buses for 381 days during their fight for desegregation.
Karen’s book also honors her uncle, Attorney Fred Gray, known as the “boycott lawyer.” Fred Gray defended Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin, and other women arrested after they refused to give up their seats on the bus to white passengers. Attorney Fred Gray argued many major civil rights cases in Alabama, some of which made it all the way to the Supreme Court.
We are beyond excited to have Karen Gray Houston as our Keynote Speaker at the Horry County Democratic Party’s SHORE Dinner this year. Her experience, wisdom, and passion for civil rights and journalism promise an evening filled with inspiration and enlightenment.
Join us on October 22nd to hear Karen Gray Houston’s powerful insights and stories that have shaped our nation’s history. It’s an event you won’t want to miss as we celebrate her remarkable journey and continue our mission to make a positive impact on our community and beyond. Get your tickets now and be part of this memorable evening!
Sunday, October 22, 2023
2 PM Reception followed by Dinner at 3 PM
Dinner tickets are $90 per person for both dinner and reception, $65 for dinner only, or $25 for the reception only.
Mary C. Canty Recreation Center
971 Canal Street
Myrtle Beach, SC