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Arts & Culture

MLK Day Events: Speaking To Dr. King's Legacy

A picture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dick DeMarsico
Wikimedia Commons

Organizations across North Carolina will host volunteer events, book drives, and unity marches to mark Martin Luther King Junior Day. King would have turned 87-years-old Friday. The national holiday is Monday.A charismatic orator, King has been an inspiration for generations of public speakers.

Shaun Harper of the University of Pennsylvania's Center for the Study of Race and Equity will be in Durham Sunday night. There, he'll speak to the Duke University audience about advocating for social justice outside one's own demographic.

On Monday night, Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State Universities will host two daughters of Civil Rights leader Malcolm X to speak.

Wake Forest Chief Diversity Officer Barbie Oakes says people often fixate on the different approaches Malcolm X and Dr. King took to racial equality. But Oakes says King had bigger goals.

"He was a major social justice champion. So the challenge of a living wage, the guarantee of basic human rights. Those are ideas that truly motivated Malcolm X."

Oakes says Atallah and Ilyasah Shabazz were raised Muslim and have a unique perspective on the American civil rights movement.

There are dozens of events honoring King over the long weekend. Here are just a few:


MLK Jr. Dreamfest: International Diversity Summit
When: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Cary Arts Center
Info: (919) 460-4069

Fayetteville MLK Day Parade

When: 11:30 a.m.– 1 p.m.

Where: Cumberland County Courthouse


MLK Jr. Dreamfest: An Arts Tribute to Martin
: 7 p.m.
Where: Cary Theater
Info: Dreamfest web site



Town of Garner MLK Celebration

When: 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Where: Garner Performing Arts Center

Shaun Harper of  the Center for the Study of Race and Equity in Education

When: 3 p.m.
Where: Page Auditorium
Info: Duke University

UNC MLK Memorial Banquet
When: 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Where: Friday Center
Info: Cameron Congleton,



MLK Triangle Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
When: 7 a.m.– 9 a.m
Where: Sheraton Imperial Hotel, Durham
Info: Pamela Thompson Smith, 919-862-7402 or

United Way of the Greater Triangle is mobilizing 3000 volunteers
When: 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Durham Technical Community College, NCCU, and St. Mary's School in Raleigh
Info: United Way of the Greater Triangle Facebook page

National Park Service trail and roadway vegetation removal volunteer work
When: 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Where: Fort Raleigh National Historic Site Visitor Center
Info: 252-475-9042

Durham MLK Unity March and Rally
When: 10:30 a.m.

Where: Begins at N.C. Mutual Life Insurance, concludes at First Presbyterian Church
Info: Durham Martin Luther King, Jr. Steering Committee

Malcolm X's daughters Attallah Shabazz and Ilyasah Shabazz speak at Wake Forest University
When: 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Where: Wait Chapel
Info: Wake Forest University

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