University City

UNC Charlotte to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

The search for "new courage" continues at the university with this year's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Joseph Armstrong DeLaine Jr. will give the keynote presentation, titled "Activating the Dream with New Courage."

DeLaine will deliver his free, public presentation at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Cone University Center, McKnight Hall. A community reception follows, and traveling components of the Levine Museum of the New South's "New Courage" exhibit will be on display.

DeLaine's father, South Carolina activist the Rev. Joseph Armstrong DeLaine Sr., played a critical role in events challenging racial segregation during the 1940s. He and other citizens of Clarendon County, S.C., brought the first lawsuit in America challenging racial segregation in public schools. Combined with four other lawsuits, the result was the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.

The Carolinas connection inspired the Levine Museum's 2004 exhibit "Courage." The display's return to the museum in 2011 created the chance for UNCC to partner with the community in the search for "new courage." Last fall, more than 20 UNCC classes, along with partners at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the Levine Museum, studied and debated historic, personal and community definitions of "new courage." DeLaine's Jan. 17 presentation continues that exploration.

In addition, UNCC's Multicultural Resource Center will sponsor the screening of "Souls of Our Teachers: An Inside Look at Education" at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Student Union Movie Theater. This Emmy-nominated film highlights the experiences of seven public school teachers in the greater Charlotte area.

After the film, a panel of teachers and administrators will share their stories related to serving in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

In another part of the university's MLK celebration, community members had the chance to volunteer in an "Into the Streets Day of Service" on Jan. 13. Organizations offering volunteer opportunities were Second Harvest Food Bank, Charlotte Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation and the Carolina Raptor Center.