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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Events Planned


Former U.S. Ambassador and civil rights leader Andrew Young will share his experience, knowledge and leadership perspective at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) Tuesday, Jan. 19, as part of the university’s Rock the Mic lecture series.

The appearance also commemorates the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., being observed this year on Jan. 18. Rock the Mic is sponsored by the Department of Student Engagement and Leadership in the Division of Student Affairs.

Young, a civil and human rights leader, has held many positions in public office, including congressman, United Nations ambassador and mayor of Atlanta. He also served as president of the National Council of Churches USA.

As a colleague and friend of King, Young played roles as key strategist and negotiator for civil rights campaigns in Birmingham and Selma that resulted in the passage Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Young was born in Louisiana and earned his bachelor’s degree from Howard University. He received a divinity degree from Hartford Seminary in 1955.

In 1972, Young became the first African-American from the Deep South elected to join the U.S. Congress since Reconstruction. In this position, he served on the Banking and Urban Development and Rules committees and sponsored legislation to establish a U.S. Institute for Peace, the African Development Bank and Chattahoochee River National Park.

In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young to serve as the nation’s first African-American ambassador to the United Nations, where he negotiated an end to white-minority rule in Namibia and Zimbabwe. Young received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Carter as well as the Legion d’Honneur from France, the greatest civilian honor of each nation.

Elected as Atlanta’s mayor in 1981, Young expanded the city’s international business profile, attracting 1,100 new companies, $70 billion in investment and 1 million jobs to the region. Later, he served as co-chair of the Atlanta Olympic Committee, which brought the Olympics to the city in 1996.

In 2012, Young retired from GoodWorks International, LLC, after over a decade of facilitating sustainable economic development for the Caribbean and Africa.

Young’s appearance kicks-off the 2016 Rock The Mic Lecture Series, the event is free and open to the public. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in B.N. Duke Auditorium. Doors open at 6 p.m.

NCCU joins with United Way of the Greater Triangle in sponsoring the King Holiday Observance, an annual “Truth and Service” project from 9 a.m. to noon on Jan. 18.

Volunteers will gather in the LeRoy T. Walker Physical Education Complex to collect food for the NCCU Food Pantry, as well as make blankets, educational flash cards and package meals for distribution to area residents. To register for the event, visit http://bit.ly/1Z86d8P.

Other Jan. 19 events taking place to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day include a march and wreath laying ceremony at the Library Bowl at 10:40 a.m.

For more information, please contact: Dr. Toya Corbett, executive director, Student Engagement and Leadership, at 919-530-5547 or leadershipnccu@nccu.edu.

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