To honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and the Civil Rights Movement, the African American Cultural Center (AACC) will host a commemorative series of events from Jan. 17-21.
According to AACC program coordinator Isaiah Lucas, this year’s theme for MLK commemoration week is “They tried to bury us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.”
“When you think about some of the racism and injustices that turn into murders of innocent Black people, harassment of innocent Black people, this quote signifies that they tried to bury us,” Lucas said. “They tried to stop us, they tried to kill us, they tried to stop the revolution. But they didn’t know that… they were birthing a legacy of greatness. And that’s rooted in Dr. King’s work.”
Attendees are encouraged to celebrate MLK’s legacy by discussing their stories — good and bad — and listening to others share their own. All events are free to attend.
MLK Teach-In: On Breaking The Silence
Jan. 18, 6 p.m., Witherspoon Student Center
Kicking off the week’s events, the AACC will be hosting a teach-in centered around the topics of decolonization, authentic storytelling and grassroots organizing and activism in alignment with North Carolina’s state motto: “to be, rather than to seem.”
MLK Pop-Up Exhibit
Jan. 19, noon, Talley Student Union
From the time MLK stepped foot in Reynolds Coliseum in 1966 to today, his mark on NC State is undeniable. Witness his impact on the campus community in the main lobby of Talley.
MLK Solidarity Fishbowl Conversation
Jan. 20, 2 p.m., Witherspoon Student Center
Join the AACC for a conversation about the whats, whys and hows of solidarity. Participants are more than welcome to join the discussion considering the act of solidarity with others or simply watch from afar.
Food, Activism and Strivings for a Complete Life
Jan. 20, 5 p.m., virtual
If you’re more comfortable participating from your bedroom, look no further. Lynn Johnson, a professor and scholar of Africana studies and food studies at Dickinson College, will host a lecture about the complete life MLK advocated during the civil rights movement. Johnson’s 45-minute lecture will give participants the opportunity to learn about the history of food from the perspective of the civil rights movement and contemporary food justice movements.
The vMLK Project: Embodiment, Affect and World Building
Jan. 20, 6 p.m., virtual
The Virtual Martin Luther King Project, created in 2015 by the White Rock Baptist Church congregation in Durham alongside NC State students and members of the community, allows participants to engage in guided tours of the vMLK project at Hunt Library. Hosts Victoria Gallagher and Elizabeth Nelson will be hosting a virtual talk regarding the history behind the vMLK project.
MLK Active Citizenry Series: Policymaking While Black
Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m., Talley Student Union
A small panel of Black local and state policymakers will discuss strategies for students to become changemakers through policymaking in their community. Registration is required, so sign up now to join an informative discussion with a knowledgeable panel.
MLK Abolitionism with Niki Franco
Jan. 21, 11 a.m., Witherspoon Student Center
Join Niki Franco, a.k.a. Venus Roots, in discussing abolitionism, grassroots activism and solidarity in a workshop at Witherspoon. Storytelling, Black queer feminism and joy as liberation will be the center topics during the interactive event.
MLK Fireside Chat
Jan. 21, 3 p.m., Talley Student Union
If you need an afternoon pick-me-up and you’re looking to hear from three impassioned panelists regarding MLK’s legacy and the need for structural change, check out the MLK Fireside Chat in Stewart Theater. Frederick Engram, Akinyele Omowale Umoja and Niki Franco will host a lively discussion surrounding various ways to implement structural change.
March Like Martin
Jan. 21, 4 p.m., Talley Student Union
The final event from the AACC this week comes in the form of a commemorative march beginning at Stafford Lawn and ending at Harris Field. The AACC, Eta Omicron Chapter and NC State National Pan-Hellenic Council are planning to celebrate King’s legacy with a peaceful, nonviolent demonstration that all students are welcome to join.