Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

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UNC’s MLK Jr. Celebration is part of a campus-wide initiative to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy, and his ideals. Carolina began its  celebrations of Dr. King’s life and legacy in 1983, long before there was a federal holiday. UNC is the only university ever awarded the “Making of the King Holiday Award” by the former MLK Federal Holiday Commission.  UNC-CH engages in honoring King’s legacy through several efforts: MLK Celebration and Committee; MLK University and Community Corporation; and the UNC MLK Scholarship Program for UNC juniors.



Schedule of Events

Starting Sunday, January 18, 2015, UNC will begin its Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations and observations. Join us at Carolina for our celebration of cooperatively planned events that commemorate the ideals of Martin Luther King Jr. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.  Also see our sponsors below.


Sunday, January 18

6:00 PM    30th Annual University/Community MLK Memorial Banquet, William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education (Sponsor: MLK University and Community Planning Corporation) Click here for more.

Monday, January 19

7:00 AM    Day of Service: Move for the Dream 5K, Race begins at at the Old Well (hosted by DMA’s Rejuvenating Our Community Through Service or “ROCTS”) Click here for more.

9:00 AM   Rally, March, and Worship Service, Franklin Street Post Office (Hosted by: Chapel Hill-Carrboro and UNC-CH chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Click here for more.

7:30 PM   Keynote Lecture and Awards with Angela Davis, Memorial Hall (Hosted by: Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and Carolina Union Activities Board) Click here for more. *Event is currently sold out. Please sign up for a space in the live-feed overflow room. Spaces are limited and will be accepted first come, first serve. Please click here to sign up.

Tuesday, January 20

5:00 PM   “The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farm Workers Struggle” film screening and discussion, Student Union, Room 3209. (Hosted by: the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.) Click here for more.

7:30 PM  “I Have a Dream Campaign” photography exhibit. Click here for more.

7:00 PM  “He Was a Poem, He Was a Song” tribute to Dr. King through verse and song, (Hosted by the Stone Center and the Friday Center for Continuing Education) Click here for more. For details, contact or call (919)962-9001.

Wednesday, January 21

7:00 PM   The Innovative Women Who Paved the Way, Stone Center Hitchcock Room (hosted by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Carolina Women’s Center) Click here for more.

Thursday, January 22

6:00 PM   “50 Years After the Dream” Race and Justice System Panel, Gerrard Hall/Campus Y Anne Queen Lounge (hosted by the Campus Y and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.) Click here for more.

7:30 PM  Unity Dinner, Student Union Great Hall (hosted by the Mu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Advocates for Carolina, and the UNC LGTBQ Center) Click here for more.

Friday, January 23

6:00 PM   Artistic Explosion: Expressing the Dream, Genome Science Bldg., Room G100 (hosted by the Black Student Movement). Click here for more.


List of Sponsors


Full Listing and Description of MLK Celebration Events

Legacy. Thirtieth Annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet


Banquet small groupThe week begins with the twenty-ninth annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation hosted by the MLK Jr. Corporation in partnership with UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. The MLK University/Community Planning Corporation, a non-profit group founded in 1993, raises scholarship funds for high school students in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County and UNC students who work to improve the quality of life for everyone in the community. Each year, the Corporation also honors citizens in “recognition of enduring service to humanity by word and by deed” through the Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Citizenship Awards. To order tickets, please email Brooke Hill at

William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education | 6:00 p.m. | $30.00

Service. Day of Service 

Monday, JANUARY 19, 2015

In an effort to raise money for the International Civil Rights Museum in Greensboro, NC, Carolina R.O.C.T.S. (Rejuvenating Our Community Through Service) is planning a 5K race and 1 mile “fun run”.  Participation in the 5K will include breakfast and lunch, as well as a T-Shirt for all volunteers. The price for participation in the 5K is $10 and and a donation of five items non-perishable food. There will also be volunteer opportunities for individuals to help facilitate the 5K (distributing water and food to runners, monitoring race paths, etc.). In addition to the 5K, there will be opportunities for groups of volunteers who will provide service in various locations on campus. In conjunction with the 5K and campus volunteering, R.O.C.T.S. is partnering with Carolina Cupboard to collect canned goods throughout the month of January. Please pre-register for the race at

Old Well | 7:00 am | Register at

Movement. Rally, March, and Worship Service

Monday, JANUARY 19th 2015

The Chapel Hill-Carrboro and UNC-CH chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) will sponsor its annual Martin L. King Jr. Day Rally, March, and Worship Service. Meet for the rally at 9:00 a.m. and then join our march down Franklin Street. The march will end at First Baptist Church. At 11:00, the church service at Historic First Baptist Church (106 North Roberson Street, Chapel Hill NC) will commence. There will also be choir performances and a brief ceremony honoring those who have served in the military.

Beginning location: Franklin Street Post Office | 9:00 am

Inspiration. 34th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture and Presentation of 31st Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship

MONDAY, JANUARY 19th 2015Angela Davis/close

Dr. King’s life continues to inspire people around the globe. This year’s inspirational keynote speaker is famed activist Angela Davis. A staunch advocate of prisoners’ rights and prison reform, in 1972 Davis was acquitted of charges that had led to her being placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. Angela Davis is the author of nine books and has lectured throughout the United States as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. She taught for fifteen years at the University of California Santa Cruz where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness—an interdisciplinary Ph.D program—and of Feminist Studies.

For the past 20 years, the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship has recognized students who have made significant contributions to improving the quality of life at Carolina. Carolina juniors who have demonstrated academic excellence are selected based on activities that show a commitment to improving the quality of life for others in the University community. Applications open annually in the Fall semester.

Memorial Hall | 7:30 pm | *Event is currently sold out. Please sign up for a space in the live-feed overflow room. Spaces are limited and will be accepted first come first serve. Please click here to sign up.

Intersection. The Fight in the Fields


This event explores the cross-section between the objectives of the Farm Worker’s Movement and the Civil Right’s Movement in America. After viewing the documentary, The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle, we will hold a discussion on how this movement compares and contrasts to that of the Civil Right’s Movement.

Student Union, Room 3209 | 5:00 pm

Reflections. I Have a Dream Campaign


This photographic exhibition will be in its inaugural year and will debut photographs of UNC students articulating their dreams and aspirations for the future. The exhibition will represent a celebration of the collective capacity of UNC students to be agents of positive change.  The exhibition opening is free and open to the public. It is meant to provoke and to inspire the audience to consider their own sense of purpose while allowing them to appreciate the diversity of dreams that exists at UNC. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Parking will be available near the Davis ATMs. Please RSVP to

Union Art Gallery | Time: before and after lecture

Voice. He was a Poem, He was a Song


A tribute to the legacy of Dr. King in verse and song, featuring Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Carolyn Malachi. Her unique style and sound blends jazz, R&B, and hip-hop and has garnered international acclaim. The program will also include performances by UNC’s EROT (Ebony Readers Onyx Theatre) and Sacrificial Poets.

This event is FREE and Open to the public and is co-sponsored by the Friday Center for Continuing Education.

To RSVP to this event please visit: or call 919-962-9001.

Stone Center Auditorium | 7:00 pm

Insight. Women Who Paved the Way


This event brings together trailblazers and women who were pioneers of activism throughout the pivotal time that was the Civil Rights Movement. The event will offer an opportunity to hear personal stories and ask questions about the impact of MLK in our own Tar Heel community.

Stone Center Hitchcock Room | 7:00 pm

Action. “50 Years after the Dream” Race and Justice System Panel


The Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and Campus Y will host a panel in Gerrard Hall that will discuss issues highlighting the theme of the role of race in the justice system, followed by a question and answer session. A reception with refreshments, an art display and performances by Harmonyx and EROT will be held following the panel in the Campus Y Anne Queen Lounge.

Gerrard Hall/Anne Queen Lounge | 6:00 – 7:15 pm

Community. The Unity Dinner


The Mu Zeta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Advocates for Carolina, and the UNC LGTBQ Center will host the Unity Dinner bringing together students, faculty, staff and community members in a welcoming and accepting environment. To foster discussion and fellowship centered on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy we will tackle the questions: “How has his legacy been preserved?” and “What can be done to progress his legacy?” in a fun and exciting way.

Student Union Great Hall | 7:30 pm

Innovation. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Free Expression Contest


The Black Student Movement will host “Artistic Explosion: Expressing the Dream” a free expression contest for middle school and high school students. This contest will give students the opportunity to submit artwork or compose an oratorical piece and compete for a cash prize. Intermission performances will include performances by Black Student Movement sub groups. To enter the contest, contact with your name and intended talent. Admission to the Artistic Explosion is free, but donations in the form of non-perishable food items are highly encouraged.

Genome Science Building, Room G100 | 6:00 pm


Platinum Sponsors:

  • Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
  • Carolina Union Activities Board

Silver Level Sponsors:

  • Department of Housing and Residential Education
  • Carolina Parents Council Grant

Bronze Level Sponsors:

  • General Alumni Association
  • UNC Athletics


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