Campus Community

UNC-Chapel Hill MLK Celebration Week Begins Jan. 14

Highlights include speakers Chancellor Carol L. Folt and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

The Old Well surrounded by flowers.
View of the Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on July 10, 2018. (Johnny Andrews/UNC-Chapel Hill)

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— Jan. 8, 2018) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host several events as part of the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week. The theme, “Voices. Presence. Community,” focuses on the importance of inclusion, diversity and community building.

North Carolina native and former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will deliver this year’s MLK Keynote Lecture on Jan. 18. Lynch was the first African-American female to serve as attorney general.

The week will begin with a keynote address by Chancellor Carol L. Folt at the annual MLK University/Community Banquet, followed by the MLK Day of Service 5K Run. The race honors Dr. King’s bridge-building legacy of community service, with proceeds benefiting two local non-profit organizations.

 University/Community MLK Banquet with Chancellor Carol L. Folt

William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

Sunday, Jan. 14, 6 p.m.

 Chancellor Carol L. Folt will deliver the keynote at the 33rd annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet and Award Presentation. The banquet is hosted by the MLK University/Community Planning Corporation in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion. The corporation, a non-profit group founded in 1993, raises scholarship funds for high school students in Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Orange County, as well as 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.

 MLK Day of Service 5K: “Voices. Presence. Community.”

Starts at the Old Well (Cameron Avenue)

Monday, Jan. 15, 7 a.m.

Early registration is now open online for the 15th annual MLK Day of Service run. On-site registration the day of the event begins at 6 a.m. at the Campus Y on Cameron Avenue. In keeping with Dr. King’s lifelong commitment to bridge building work, race proceeds will benefit Girls on the Run of the Triangle and Healthy Girls Save the World, an organization founded by a Carolina alumna.

MLK Keynote Lecture and Awards Ceremony with Loretta Lynch

Memorial Hall

Thursday, Jan. 18, 7 p.m.

North Carolina native and former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will deliver the 2018 MLK Keynote Lecture. Ms. Lynch, who was born in Greensboro, was sworn in as the first African-American female attorney general in April 2015, a position she held until January 2017. Additionally, the event includes a presentation of the University’s MLK Scholarships and Unsung Hero Awards.

More information and a complete list of events are available at

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 77 bachelor’s, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, 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 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

University Communications: Media Relations, (919) 445-8555,

Diversity and Inclusion contact: Adrianne Gibilisco, (919) 843-6085,