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Remembering the civil rights leader: Annual Memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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University Gazette


MLK vigil
Participants in a Jan. 18 candlelight vigil at the Old Well huddle against a chilling wind while remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Photo credit: Justin Smith)

The University held a weeklong celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Jan.15 – 20, as students, faculty and staff paid tribute to the civil rights leader.

Highlights included the 21st Annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet at the Friday Center.

During the national holiday, a community observance and rally was held Jan. 16.

Students, faculty and staff read poetry stirred by King’s life and work during the Jan. 17 event,  “He Was a Poem: An Evening of Poetry Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr..”

MLK wall
Chancellor James Moeser leads off others as he pins his thoughts to a wall in the Student Union, which contains writing and other forms of expression as part of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. week observances. (Photo credit: Justin Smith)

Nikki Giovanni, world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator, delivered the keynote lecture Jan. 18 during the presentation of the 24th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship. That night, a candle light vigil was held around the Old Well.

On Jan. 19, Ernest G. Green, one of the first black students to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., following the Supreme Court ruling to desegregate in 1954, spoke on campus.

Events were sponsored by the Chancellor’s Committee for the MLK Celebration with the support of numerous UNC groups, including the African and Afro-American Studies department, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., the Black Student Movement, the Campus Y, Carolina R.O.C.T.S., the Carolina Union Activities Board, the Carolina Women’s Center, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, the executive branch of student government, Housing and Residential Education, the Martin Luther King Jr. Established Lecture Fund, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the offices of the Chancellor and the Provost, the Residence Hall Association, the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History, Student Affairs, the UNC athletics department , the UNC NAACP Chapter and the University Library.

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