Harper keynote speaker for MLK Jr. celebration

Actor and author Hill Harper will be the keynote speaker for the 33rd annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Hill is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny.” His latest book is “Letters to an Incarcerated Brother.” Hill starred in the TV drama CSI: NY from 2004 to 2013 and in March joined the spy drama Covert Affairs. He is also the founder of the Manifest Your Destiny Foundation, a mentorship program that helps young men and women follow their career paths through a motivational support system.

Hill will give the keynote lecture at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 20 at Memorial Hall. The event, which includes the presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, is free but tickets are required.

The lecture is part of UNC’s MLK Jr. Celebration, which has the theme, “Unifying the Dream through Thought and Action.” The celebration starts on Jan. 19 with the annual community and University banquet that recognizes community leaders and showcases the talents of UNC students. The banquet is at 6 p.m. at the Friday Center. Tickets are $25.

Other events during the celebration include a rally and a march, a photography exhibit that features social justice movements and a day of service.

On Feb. 28, Cornel West, a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary, will discuss “Then & Now: Race in the South” as part of a MLK and Black History Month Bridge program. The speech will take place at 7 p.m. in Memorial Hall. Before the speech, there will be a unity dinner and discussion, “Then & Now: His Dream of Unity,” at 5 p.m. in the Sonja Haynes Stone Center. The bridge program is designed to allow the UNC community to continue the conversation of social justice and equity while recognizing and celebrating the history and contributions of African Americans.

Read more about the celebration’s activities, including their times and locations.

Published Jan. 14, 2014.