Civil rights activist: UNC Charlotte alumnus and civil rights activist Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. will return to campus Feb. 19-20 as part of the Alumni Association’s “Celebrating African American Legacies” slate of events. Chavis will participate in the screening of the film “Blood Done Sign My Name” at 7 p.m. in the Student Union movie theater. There will be a discussion with Chavis after the movie about his fight for civil rights. The event is free and open to the public. Chavis will be recognized at a reception 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at UNC Charlotte Center City. Admission to the reception is $10 per person and is open to the public. Register for the reception at http://alumni.uncc.edu/events/celebrating-african-american-legacies-reception.
A native of Oxford, Chavis began his civil rights activism in 1963, working for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In his hometown in 1970, Chavis organized a protest march and 18-month boycott of white businesses after black Vietnam War veteran Henry Marrow was murdered and white suspects were acquitted by an all-white jury. The book and film “Blood Done Sign My Name” recount those events. Chavis transferred to UNC Charlotte in January 1966 from St. Augustine’s College. He was active in efforts to promote the activities of African-American students on campus. He was the first president of the Black Student Union and earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UNCC in 1971.
Soul food studies: The Center for the Study of the New South will host a series of events to examine “Soul Food: A Contemporary and Historical Exploration of New South Food.” At 2 p.m. Feb. 18 in the Student Union movie theater, there will be a screening of “Pride and Joy,” a documentary produced by Southern Foodways Alliance. Joe York, director of “Pride and Joy,” studies the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. Select faculty members will respond to the film, and there will be a question-and-answer session.
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A panel discussion, “Future of Food in the New South,” is scheduled for 6 p.m. Feb. 19 at UNC Charlotte Center City. Topics will include what the future of food looks like in the South; challenges of food production, consumption and access; and what makes Southern cuisine distinctive. Future events in the series are scheduled in March and September. Seating is limited for the February events, which are free and open to the public. Reservations are required; email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Turn in felon with firearm: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has launched a program to target felons carrying firearms. The program will urge members of the community to call 704-334-1600 to forward anonymous information with the identity and whereabouts of a felon in the possession of a firearm. The anonymous caller will be eligible for a $500 reward if an arrest is made as a result of their anonymous tip. Additionally, anyone in the public who forwards information leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.