For the sixth consecutive year, UNCG and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will host a joint celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The event will take place Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 7 p.m. at Harrison Auditorium on the campus of N.C. A&T.

Head shot of Payton Head

Payton Head

This year’s program features musical performances by students and a keynote address by Payton Head, a community leader, activist and former student body president at the University of Missouri.

In the aftermath of the Ferguson protests, Head spearheaded conversations about improving race relations. He was awarded an NAACP Image Award on the mantra “Courage Will Not Skip this Generation,” and was featured in Spike Lee’s ESPN documentary “2 Fists Up.”

Head is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and joined former Secretary Arne Duncan with the U.S. Department of Education to discuss strategies for addressing campus race relations.

In addition to the evening event, UNCG will host a master class on student activism with Head at 10 a.m. in the Elliott University Center (EUC) Auditorium. Students are then invited to join Head for an informal lunch at the UNCG Fountain View Dining Hall at noon. Both events are open to UNCG and N.C. A&T students with a valid student ID.

At 1:15 p.m., UNCG will live stream a conversation between Head, UNCG Student Government Association President Holly Shields and N.C. A&T Student Government Association President Kayla Tate. The live stream can be accessed on the UNCG YouTube channel.

On Monday, Jan. 15, more than 300 UNCG students will live out the legacy of King at the annual MLK Day of Service. The event, organized by the UNCG Office of Leadership and Service-Learning, is one of the university’s largest service events each year.

UNCG will round out the week with a community dialogue titled “Have we reached the mountaintop?” The event is the first in a series, offered each semester by the Office of Intercultural Engagement, that is designed to encourage intergroup dialogue among students.

To learn more about next week’s programs, visit and


We invite members of the campus community who are participating in MLK Day service projects on Jan. 15 to share pictures on Instagram and Twitter and tag their posts #UNCGservice. We will re-post our favorites!