Main Menu

Carolina’s MLK Celebration Week Begins Jan. 15


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s 2017 Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week, begins on Jan. 15. This year’s event, “Keeping the Faith: A Call to Press On,” features events dedicated to the intersection of diversity, inclusion and social justice, including keynote addresses by journalist and producer Soledad O’Brien and state Senator Valerie Foushee.

The annual MLK University/Community Banquet, MLK Day of Service 5K and the MLK Keynote Lecture and Awards Ceremony kick off the week of activities, which also includes discussions and performances focused on highlighting King’s legacy of service and social justice advocacy.

University/Community MLK Banquet with Senator Foushee

William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education

Sunday, Jan. 15 – 5 p.m.

 The week begins with the 32nd 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.

Senator Foushee will give the keynote at this annual banquet. Prior to becoming a North Carolina State Senator in 2013, Foushee was a member of the N.C. House of Representatives, chaired both the Board of Commissioners in Orange County and Board of Education for the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School system and served in the Chapel Hill Police Department for 21 years.

Senator Valerie Foushee

 For additional information, contact MLK Celebrations co-coordinator Cameron Congleton at

“The Time is Now” Day of Service 5K Run

Starts at the Old Well (Cameron Avenue)

Monday, Jan. 16 – 7:30 a.m.

 On-site registration for the run begins at 6:30 a.m. at the Campus Y. In keeping with Dr. King’s lifelong commitment to bridge building, all funds raised by the run will be donated to the Faith Danielle Hedgepeth Scholarship, which celebrates and honors the life of this former student. A biology major, Hedgepeth’s goal was to become a pediatrician in the hopes of giving back to her community and the people of the Haliwa-Saponi Indian tribe.

For additional information, contact MLK Celebrations Co-Coordinator Jackie Ceron-Hernandez at

MLK Keynote Lecture and Awards Ceremony with Soledad O’Brien

Memorial Hall

Tuesday, Jan. 17 – 7:30 p.m.

 Recipients of the University’s MLK Scholarship and Unsung Hero Awards will be recognized and a keynote address will be delivered by award winning journalist, documentarian, news anchor and producer Soledad O’Brien.

Soledad O'Brien

In 2013, O’Brien launched Starfish Media Group, a multi-platform media production and distribution company dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a challenging look at issues of race, class, wealth, poverty and opportunity, through personal stories. She is the originator of the highly successful documentary series “Black in America” and “Latino in America” and a contributor of programming to CNN, HBO Real Sports and Al Jazeera America. O’Brien and her husband also created the PowHERful Foundation to help provide disadvantaged young women access and success at college.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *