Actor Danny Glover Talk to Highlight MLK Week at UNC

Actor and producer Danny Glover will give the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture on Jan. 21 at Carolina.

The free public talk at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall will be preceded by a candlelight vigil starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Well on Cameron Avenue. The vigil is intended as a time for reflection on King’s messages before the Glover talk.

The events are part of the 29th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration Jan. 17-22 at UNC, which also will include a film, and oratorical contest, a march down Franklin Street and a talk by Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS quilt. Multiple units across campus are sponsoring the events, coordinated by the Chancellor’s Committee for the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

“The challenges of advancing Dr. King’s vision for a just and humane world are ever more difficult in our interconnected global community of today,” said Archie Ervin, associate provost for diversity and multicultural affairs. “Affirming our common humanity requires all of us to reach beyond the social issues that divide us. This is the enduring legacy of Dr. King and is the primary reason this celebration has continuing relevance.”

Known for his roles in movies as diverse as the Lethal Weapon series and The Color Purple, Glover also has been an advocate for economic justice, accessible health care and education. His activism has included work with the United Farm Workers, the Black AIDS Institute, The Algebra Project (a national nonprofit advocating quality public education for all children) and the Vanguard Public Foundation (an anti-racism, pro-equal rights organization).

AT UNC, Glover will discuss how King’s life and legacy influenced him to use his platform as an actor to engage in social activism. The program will begin with presentation of UNC’s 27th annual MLK Scholarships. Recipients are chosen for exemplifying King’s vision and demonstrating commitment to civil and human rights. Academic excellence also is a factor.

Tickets for the Glover lecture are free but required. Carolina students with UNC One Cards may pick up tickets at the Memorial Hall Box Office on Cameron Avenue starting Jan. 12; limit two tickets per One Card and two One Cards per student. Others may begin picking up tickets Jan. 14; limit two tickets per person.

Tickets must be picked up in person. Box office hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays. The office will be closed Jan. 18. For ticket information, call (919) 843-3333.

full schedule and details on the weeklong celebration is available online and by calling the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at (919) 962-6962. Highlights, all free to the public, include:

  • Jan. 17 — University-Community Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Banquet, 6 p.m., William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education. The Rev. Mitchell Simpson, pastor of University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, will speak. For tickets, call (919) 962-6962. For more information, contact Kirstin Garriss at
  • Jan. 18 — The federal observance of the holiday will be Jan. 18, and the University will be closed, but MLK week activities still will take place:
    • Day for Service, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., beginning and ending in the Great Hall of the Frank Porter Graham Student Union. Carolina students and friends will gather for assignments and transportation to and from community service project sites around town. Each participant will receive a T-shirt and lunch. Advance registration is required at the Web site of the sponsoring student organization, Rejuvenating Our Communities Through Service (ROTCS). For more information, contact Anika Fisher at
    • MLK Youth Leadership Program, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Union multipurpose room. ROTCS also is sponsoring this program for middle school students, who will participate in activities designed to connect similarities between King’s hopes and President Obama. Each participant will receive a T-shirt and lunch. For more information, contact Anika Fisher at
    • MLK rally, march and worship service, beginning at 9 a.m. at the Franklin Street post office. The UNC and Chapel Hill-Carrboro chapters of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will sponsor the events. The march will go west on Franklin Street to University Baptist Church, where the service will be held. For more information, contact Trittani Miller at
    • Potluck Unity Dinner, 5 p.m., Union’s Great Hall, designed in the spirit of King’s advocacy of bridging gaps among people from all walks of life. Each participant is asked to bring a dish and engage in conversation about King’s legacy in contemporary society. For more information, contact Preston Smith at
    • “He Was a Poem, He Was a Song,” 7 p.m., theater of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History off South Road. University and local community members are invited to explore King’s legacy through music, poetry and spoken prose. The Triad Youth Jazz Society and the UNC a cappella group Tar Heel Voices will perform; a reception will follow. For more information, contact Ursula Littlejohn at
  • Jan. 19 — Cleve Jones, creator of the AIDS quilt, 7 p.m., Great Hall, Frank Porter Graham Student Union. Jones, who was portrayed in the recent film “Milk,” will discuss challenges he faces as a lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender activist and his view that gay and lesbian rights are needed to actualize the equality that King envisioned. For more information, contact Emily Zuehlke at
  • Jan. 20
    • “Standing on May Sister’s Shoulders,” noon, 039 Graham Memorial Building, just off the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center parking lot. The documentary covers the civil rights movement in Mississippi in the 1950s and ’60s from the point of view of women who lived it. For more information, contact Ashley Fogle at
    • MLK Oratorial Contest, 6 p.m., Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Students will speak on the theme “Building on Foundations of Greatness: How Will Our Generation Continue Dr. King’s Legacy?” For more information, contact Janel Monroe at
  • Jan. 21 — Candlelight vigil and MLK Memorial Lecture by Danny Glover. For more information on the vigil, contact Whitney Nebolisa at
  • Jan. 22 — “I, Too, Sing America,” 6:30 p.m., Great Hall, Frank Porter Graham Student Union. The program, based on Langston Hughes’ poem by that name, brings diverse campus organizations together in song, dance and poetry. The poem marks a slave’s pride in his heritage and his vision of a day when all prejudice is put aside and equality is reached. For more information, contact Stanley Allen at

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