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Wake Forest celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day


January 6, 2009

Wake Forest University will celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr. at several events between Jan. 17 and 20.  All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. 

  • 11th Annual MLK Basketball Tournament; 12:30 p.m. - 8 p.m., Jan. 17; Reynolds Gym

Co-sponsored by Wake Forest’s athletics department and the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the invitational basketball tournament will bring together intramural teams from several North Carolina universities, including Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina A&T, North Carolina Central University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Wake Forest and WSSU.  It will include tournament play culminating in a championship game as well as slam-dunk and three-point shot contests.  

  • 4th Annual MLK GospelFest; 3 p.m., Jan. 18; Brendle Recital Hall; $5 admission, free for students with ID and children under 12

The concert, sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, will feature renowned gospel artist Donald Lawrence.  Several Winston-Salem community choirs including the Wake Forest Gospel Choir, Chi Rho and WSSU’s Inspirational Voices will also perform.

  • 9th Annual WSSU/WFU Joint MLK Celebration: “On Common Ground: One Dream Can Change the World”; 7 p.m., Jan. 19; Kenneth R. Williams Auditorium, WSSU 

For the past nine years, Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State University have co-sponsored and alternated hosting a keynote event to commemorate King’s life. This year, the event will feature a keynote address by actress and political activist Ruby Dee at WSSU.   

Earlier in the evening, Wake Forest will host an invitation-only dinner where students and faculty from both schools will be awarded the “Building the Dream” award in recognition of their efforts to promote racial diversity and harmony.

  • 44th Presidential Inauguration; 11:30 a.m., Jan. 20; Brendle Recital Hall

The Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a viewing of the inauguration of Barack Obama.

  • “The Dream Realized? What Barack Obama’s Election Means to America”; 4 p.m., Jan. 20; Z. Smith Reynolds (ZSR) Library Atrium

Wake Forest faculty, staff and students will present personal reflections on the inauguration of President Barack Obama.  Lynn Sutton, director of the ZSR Library will give opening remarks.  Senior Fred Parent will read the essay “What to the African-American is the Fourth of November?” written by Anthony Parent, his father and professor of history.  Other speakers will include: Rhon Manigault, assistant professor of religion; two members of Wake Forest’s Student Government, Jermyn Davis, president, and Matt Triplett, speaker of the house; Wanda Brown, associate director of the ZSR Library; and James Bryant, visiting assistant professor of American ethnic studies.  Richard Heard, associate professor of music, will sing to close out the program.  A reception with light refreshments will follow the event. For more information about the event, call (336) 758-4931.

For more information about all other events, call (336) 758-5864.

Note to editors:  Interviews with participants can be arranged in advance.  Members of the media interested in arranging interviews or covering any of the events should contact the News Service at (336) 758-5237.

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237


Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237


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