Celebrate, Honor, and Get Involved

Posted on January 11, 2023

A student helps with park cleanup during MLK Day of Service in 2021.
UNCG students volunteer with community partners in Greensboro on MLK Day of Service

UNCG Martin Luther King Jr. Day events and opportunities

Each year on the third Monday of January, the nation observes a federal holiday to mark the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. The holiday celebrates and remembers the Baptist minister and Civil Rights leader who was assassinated April 4, 1968, but not before leaving a legacy of nonviolent protest against racial injustice. Below are a few ways the UNCG community may join in honoring Dr. King’s legacy.

Volunteer with UNCG MLK Day of Service

UNCG has myriad ways for students to participate in the spirit of the holiday through its annual MLK Day of Service on January 14. This year, student volunteers will actively help the following organizations:

  • The Servant Center 
  • Peacehaven Community Farm
  • Islamic Center of the Triad
  • Hope Academy GSO 
  • Brighton Gardens Greensboro 
  • Beyond Sports NC 
  • Reading Connections
  • Reconsidered Goods 
  • UNCG Outdoor Adventures
  • Backpack Beginnings 

Those on the waitlist will be contacted if space becomes available. 

Join the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

In partnership with North Carolina A&T State University, Guilford College, and Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), UNCG will co-host the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration “Envisioning Our Future” on Wednesday, January 18th, at 7 p.m. at N.C. A&T’s Harrison Auditorium.

The event will feature a student panel – including UNCG student LaShona Souza and other students from each campus – moderated by La’Tonya Wiley of the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. The program will feature a live musical performance by UNCG’s Neo Black Society Gospel Choir accompanied by N.C. A&T graduate Samuel Josh Sauls. The GTCC Theater Department will deliver a Tableau performance honoring the legacy of Dr. King.

Each institution will present an annual award to a student or staff member who has distinguished themselves in honoring the legacy of service, activism and civil rights. UNCG students can take the free Spartan Chariot shuttles, which will run between UNCG and N.C. A&T.

The event is open to the public and will also stream via YouTube at: https://youtu.be/smrXQgWCfsA.

Visit the International Civil Rights Museum

The original Woolworth’s sit-in took place at the Elm Street Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro. On February 1, 1960, four young Black students at N.C. A&T – Ezell Blair Jr., David Richmond, Franklin McCain and Joseph McNeil– sat at the segregated lunch counter at the Woolworth’s when the official policy was to refuse service to anyone but Whites. The four young men refused to give up their seats, and thus began their protest and legacy of nonviolent protest.

Now that building houses the International Civil Rights Museum and features the restored Woolworth’s lunch counter where the students sat (part of the original counter is now on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, DC). The museum commemorates the Sit-In Movement of the 1960s and informs visitors about civic inclusion, collaboration and efficacy in working towards social change. 

Story by Alice Manning Touchette

Photograph by Martin W. Kane


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