Martin Luther King celebration events end Jan. 21

A firsthand account from one of the Little Rock 9, a discussion of international aid and development in Africa, and presentations of “I, too, Sing America” will close out UNC-Chapel Hill’s week-long Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration.

On Thursday, Jan. 20, Dr. Terrence J. Roberts will discuss the experience of breaking the color barrier as a 15-year-old student at Little Rock Central High School. His talk, “Lessons from Little Rock,” begins at 5 p.m. in the Union Auditorium.

Also on Thursday, the MLK, Today panel will focus on international aid and development in Central and Eastern Africa and how these themes reflect the ideals and Dr King’s legacy. The discussion will begin at 7 p.m. in the FedEx Global Center’s Nelson Mandela Auditorium. Joining the discussion are David Johnson and Lisa Dougan.

Johnson, a UNC alumnus, is founder and president of Silent Images, an organization that documents persecuted and oppressed people across the globe. Johnson has worked in Sudan, Burundi, Uganda, and Ethiopia. He has published two books: Voices of Sudan and Voice of Beauty. Dougan is the Director of Communications for Resolve Uganda. She has worked with Invisible Children as National Tour Coordinator and Advocacy Liaison. The panel will feature Professor of African and Afro-American Studies and Political Science Dr. Julius Nyang’oro and Professor of Economics Ralph Byrns. Professor of African and Afro-American Studies Tim McMillan will moderate.

I, too, Sing America will begin in the Union’s Great Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21. This year’s program will commemorate Dr. King’s dream through the eyes of many cultural generations in America who are striving to achieve Dr. King’s dream of a just society. Students ages 11 to 22 will present interpretations of Langston Hughes’ poem, “I, too, Sing America.”

More information.