The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spent his life promoting unity and togetherness. That very notion will be on display Jan. 23 as UNCG and NC A&T come together to present a celebration of the life and work of Dr. King.
In years past, each university opted to offer its own programming in honor of MLK Day, including separate speakers, entertainment and activities. The decision to unify the celebrations was both practical and symbolic.
The key messages for the event are unity, diversity and fiscal responsibility, and the decision to host a joint celebration was a demonstration of those priorities, according to Mark Villacorta, assistant director of UNCG's Office of Multicultural Affairs. He says that, among other reasons, the joint celebration came out of a desire to live out Dr. King's dream of bringing together people from different experiences, backgrounds and walks of life in support of a common cause, as well as to continue the tradition of unity and mutual support between the two universities and to demonstrate fiscal responsibility in an era of budgetary strain.
The combined celebration, titled Empowerment through Diversity: Sharing the Dream, promises to be a powerful one. Dick Gregory, humanitarian and comedian, will deliver the keynote address, and the UNCG Neo Black Society Gospel choir will perform alongside the North Carolina A&T State University Fellowship Gospel Choir. In addition, UNCG will present its annual MLK Service Award and NC A&T will present its MLK Scholarship Award.
Part of Dr. King's dream was to bring people together from all different parts of society, Villacorta says. I think he would be pleased to see this partnership.
The festivities will take place Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in UNCG's Aycock Auditorium. The event is free to the public, and doors open at 6 p.m. Read more about the event.