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Carolina to celebrate MLK Day with lecture, banquet

Events throughout the week are designed to bring the community together for inspiration, enlightenment and bridge-building.

Image of MLK surrounded around the words

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to say that the University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet, scheduled for Jan. 16, and the MLK Lecture and Awards Ceremony, which was scheduled for Jan. 19, have been rescheduled. 

Carolina will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy with events focused on the theme of “What are we striving for?”

“In celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, we strive to honor his message of service to others, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging for everyone in the Carolina community,” said Leah Cox, Carolina’s vice provost for equity and inclusion and chief diversity officer. “Each event planned during the Week of Celebration is designed to bring us together for inspiration, enlightenment and bridge-building.”

The celebrations had been scheduled to start Jan. 16 with the 37th annual University/Community Martin Luther King Jr. Banquet and Award Presentation. That event was postponed until Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. The banquet and award presentation raises scholarship funds for local high school students who have demonstrated a commitment to community involvement through civic, educational and religious activities.

Elmira Mangum, a former Carolina associate provost and the first woman to serve as president at Florida A&M University, is set to be the banquet’s keynote speaker. She will be joined by several community leaders, including Cox and Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, to celebrate the legacy of King.

Community members can purchase tickets for $30 at the MLK/University Planning Corporation’s website.

Tar Heels will also host the annual MLK Student Day of Service throughout the week with a letter-writing campaign in the Pit and other opportunities for cross-cultural and intergroup dialogue, including a culture show in the Pit on Friday at 3 p.m.

The University was scheduled to host the annual MLK Lecture and Awards Ceremony on Jan. 19, but the event has been postponed until Feb. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Activist, artist and Black voting rights expert LaTosha Brown will deliver the keynote. Brown is the co-founder of the Black Voters Matter Fund and the Black Voters Matter Capacity Building Institute, which works to support community-based organizations dedicated to empowering Black voters.

Learn more at the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion