N.C. A&T and UNCG to Commemorate MLK with Joint Celebration

Payton-Head-Image.jpgGreensboro, N.C.  (Jan. 9, 2018) – For the sixth consecutive year, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will host a joint celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This year’s main event will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 17, in Harrison Auditorium on the campus of N.C. A&T, with a theme of “Moving America Forward in the Age of Trump.” 

The commemorative program, free and open to the public, will feature keynote speaker Payton Head, former student government president at the University of Missouri. 

In the fall of 2015, Head spoke out strongly about systemic racism on campus. In particular, his Facebook post describing bigotry around the university, including an incident in which passengers in a pickup truck shouted slurs at him, went viral and ignited a student body fight for a more inclusive campus. Subsequent protests drew national attention and ultimately lead to the resignation of both the university chancellor and the president of the UM System. 

Head went on to organize and present at the first White House Convening for Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Ed. He also developed partnerships with the National Campus Leadership Council and the Department of Education to co-author a how-to guide for student leaders to address inclusion. The guide has become a benchmark for campuses nationwide. 

Head received an NAACP Image Award, was featured in Spike Lee’s ESPN documentary, “2 Fists Up,” and has presented at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. A member of the LGBTQ community, he frequently speaks on the intersection of race and sexual identity and has been featured in numerous national media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN. 

Additional events slated for the week will include the following: 

Monday, Jan. 15
  • National Day of Service
    Volunteer opportunities available by contacting the N.C. A&T Office of Student Development at 336-334-7792

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service
    UNCG students can register as individuals or groups at olsl.uncg.edu.  A lunch will be provided.

Tuesday, Jan. 16

  • MLK Candlelight March
    5:30 p.m., A&T Reflection Pool

  • MLK Oratory Contest
    7 p.m., Harrison Auditorium

Wednesday, Jan. 17

  • Masterclass with Payton Head on Student Activism and the Power of the Student Voice
    10 – 11 a.m., UNCG Elliott University Auditorium
    Open to N.C. A&T and UNCG students only
    Must present student ID
    Call 336-334-7800 for information on shuttles from N.C. A&T

  • Lunch with Payton Head
    Noon – 1 p.m. UNCG Moran Dining Hall,
    Open to N.C. A&T and UNCG students only
    Must present student ID
    Limited free ticket information at www.intercultural.uncg.edu

  • A live stream conversation with Payton Head, N.C. A&T SGA president Kayla Tate and UNCG SGA president Holly Shields
    1:15 – 1:45 p.m.

  • Commemorative Program
    7 p.m., N.C. A&T Harrison Auditorium, doors open at 6:15 p.m.
    Featuring the N.C. A&T Jazz Ensemble and UNCG’s Real Anointed Worshippers Gospel Choir
    Shuttles from UNCG will depart from Stirling Street in front of the Walker Parking Deck beginning at 5:30 p.m.  Last return shuttle departs Harrison Auditorium at 9:30 p.m.
Friday, Jan. 19
  • MLK Religious and Spiritual Life Resource Fair
    1 – 4 p.m., ACB Lobby, N.C. A&T 

  • Community Dialogue Series: Have We Reached the Mountaintop Yet?
    1:30-2:30 p.m., Intercultural Resource Center in the Elliott University Center at UNCG
    Open to the public
    Call 336-334-5090 for more information

For additional information regarding the joint celebration, contact the Multicultural Student Center at A&T at 336-334-7800 or email msc@ncat.edu.