UNC-Chapel Hill celebrates and honors the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 17-24

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UNC-Chapel Hill celebrates and honors the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 17-24

Annual celebration and commemoration features awards presentations, nationally recognized speakers, panel discussions, documentary screening and Day of Service 5K Run


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – Jan. 12, 2016) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will celebrate and commemorate the legacy and ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a range of events that highlight the intersection of diversity, inclusion and social justice during the 2016 MLK Celebration Week that runs from Jan. 17 through 24.


Carolina began its campus-wide program in 1983, before there was a federal holiday in Dr. King’s honor, and is the only university ever awarded the “Making of the King Holiday Award” by the former MLK Federal Holiday Commission. Highlights of this year’s program include the 31st annual University/Community Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation, featuring Bennett College President Rosalind Fuse-Hall as the keynote speaker, and the MLK Lecture and Awards Ceremony featuring scholar and journalist Marc Lamont Hill as the keynote speaker.


“We are honored this year to have higher education leader Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall and esteemed journalist and academic Dr. Marc Lamont Hill speaking at our events,” said Taffye Benson Clayton, associate vice chancellor for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and chief diversity officer. “These leaders come to us with a body of work that is inspired by Dr. King’s message of bridge-building and peaceful activism.”


For additional information and a complete schedule of commemorative events and celebrations honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., please visit http://diversity.unc.edu/mlk/. Highlights of the week-long program include:

Dr. Fuse HallMarc_Lamont_Hill-683x1024

University/Community MLK Banquet and Award Presentation
William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education
Sunday, January 17, 6 p.m.
The week begins with the 31st annual University/Community Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation, hosted by the MLK University/Community Planning Corporation in partnership with UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. The Corporation is a non-profit group founded in 1993 that raises scholarship funds for high school students in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County and Carolina 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., Citizen Awards.


Dr. Rosalind Fuse-Hall, the 17th president of Bennett College, a historically black liberal arts college for women founded in 1873, is the keynote speaker.


For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact diversity celebrations coordinator, Cameron Congleton, at cconglet@live.unc.edu.


MLK Day of Service 5K – “The Time is Now”
Starts from the Old Well
Monday, January 18, 7 a.m.
Registration begins at 7 a.m. at the Campus Y for the run that begins at 7:30 a.m. from the Old Well. In keeping with Dr. King’s lifelong commitment to bridge-building, the fundraiser will benefit the Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha Memorial Fund created by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Dentistry and the Dental Foundation of North Carolina. For more information and registration, please contact Josmell Perez at josmell@email.unc.edu.


MLK Lecture and Awards Ceremony
Memorial Hall
Monday, January 18, 7:30 p.m.
The MLK Lecture and Awards Ceremony will feature the announcement of the recipients of the MLK Scholarship and Unsung Hero awards, and include a special presentation of the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) award to Carolina’s Diversity and Multicultural Affairs office for its outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, academic, journalist, author, activist and television personality, is the keynote speaker.


For more information, please contact diversity celebrations co-coordinator, Jay Peterkin, at mlk@unc.edu.



About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 78 bachelor’s, 112 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.


UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs contacts: Josmell Perez, (919) 843-5517, josmell@unc.edu or Sharbari Dey, (919) 962-7330, sharbari@unc.edu
Communications and Public Affairs contact: Michael John, (919) 445-8360, michael.john@unc.edu