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MLK Celebration Week begins with the 34th annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation, hosted by the MLK Jr. Corporation, in partnership with UNC’s Office for Diversity & Inclusion.

This year’s MLK Banquet will feature speaker Dr. Reginald Hildebrand, associate professor of African American Studies and History, UNC-Chapel Hill, and presentation of the Citizenship Award, Bridge Builders Awards and 2019 MLK Scholarships. The MLK Memorial Banquet will take place on January 20, 5-8 p.m., at the Friday Center.

Professor Hildebrand retired from UNC in 2016 and is the author of The Times Were Strange and Stirring: Methodist Preachers and the Crisis of Emancipation (Duke University Press, 1995) and is currently working on a book with the working title, The Cleverest Document Issued This Century: Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamations and the Meanings of Freedom. He was awarded UNC’s Tanner faculty Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching in 2012, is a former co-chair of the North Carolina Freedom Monument Project and a former trustee of the North Carolina Humanities Council. He was also a member of the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission and the Advisory Board for the North Carolina Historical Review.

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The MLK Lecture will feature Ben Jealous, former president and CEO of the NAACP, as the keynote speaker, as well as presentations for the UNC MLK Student Scholarship and Unsung Heroes awards.

Ben Jealous is a renowned activist, civil rights leader, community organizer and 2018 Maryland gubernatorial candidate. Benjamin served as the youngest NAACP president in its history. Under his leadership and through various initiatives, he led the association to become the largest civil rights organization online and on mobile, as well as the largest community-based nonpartisan voter registration operation in the country. Now affiliated with the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kapor Capital, Benjamin continues to further the goal of growing opportunities for minorities in the tech economy.

The MLK Lecture will take place on January 24, 7:30 p.m., at Memorial Hall. Tickets are free, but required. Tickets available at the CPA/Memorial Hall box office or online.

Updates regarding these and other MLK-related events scheduled during MLK Celebration Week can be found here.

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