Unity, diversity and fiscal responsibility are the key messages as UNCG and N.C. A&T collaborate on a 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.
For the first time, the sister universities are combining their resources to offer a themed MLK program, “Empowerment through Diversity: Sharing the Dream.” Dick Gregory, humanitarian and comedian, will deliver the keynote address on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in UNCG’s Aycock Auditorium.
The event is free and open to the public, and doors open at 6 p.m. In addition to Gregory’s remarks, UNCG will present its annual MLK Service Award and A&T will present its MLK Scholarship Award.
In the past, UNCG and A&T have handled their own programming, bringing in separate speakers and planning separate activities.
“Bridging this gap between the two institutions creates a wonderful dynamic for the both campus communities,” says Gerald Spates, director of the Multicultural Student Center at A&T.
[pullquote]“Bridging this gap between the two institutions creates a wonderful dynamic for the both campus communities,” says Gerald Spates, director of the Multicultural Student Center at A&T.[/pullquote]
“We are hoping that both campuses will generate dialogue in and out of the classroom about the importance of Dr. King’s legacy and how he impacted history and the world,” says Audrey Lucas, UNCG’s director for multicultural affairs.
Dr. Mark Villacorta, assistant director for multicultural affairs at UNCG, says the move toward a coordinated MLK event between the campuses is a good one for many reasons.
The universities, both part of the UNC system, can share costs and draw a larger crowd for the keynote address, Villacorta says. He adds that working together is a perfect expression of Dr. King’s vision for America.
“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.”
Gregory has authored 15 books. He has recorded seven records and has appeared on television and in films. He is also a nutritionist, a veteran of more than 100 fasts. He has committed his life to nonviolent social change. King and Gregory often were jailed together as they demonstrated for civil rights in the 1960s, and Gregory became increasingly involved with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s (SCLC) efforts to bring freedom, justice and equality to all black people in America.