|Dr. Marc Lamont Hill|
Author, television host and commentator Dr. Marc Lamont Hill will bring his hip-hop perspective to North Carolina Central University Thursday, Jan. 16, as part of a series of events and service activities honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hill will be the keynote speaker at the university’s MLK Convocation, which will take place at 9:45 a.m., in B.N. Duke Auditorium. This event is free and open to the public.
As one of the country’s most prominent hip-hop generation intellectuals, Hill provides regular commentary for media outlets such as NPR, Washington Post, Essence magazine and The New York Times. He is the host of the nationally syndicated television show, “Our World with Black Enterprise,” which airs Sunday mornings on TV One and in broadcast markets throughout the country.
Trained as an anthropologist, Hill is the author of two books: “Beats, Rhymes, and Classroom Life: Hip-Hop Pedagogy” and “The Politics of Identity and the Classroom and the Cell: Conversations on Black Life in America.” Since 2009, Hill has been an associate professor of education on the faculty of Columbia University’s Teachers College. He also holds an affiliated faculty appointment in African-American studies at the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University.
The MLK Community Builder event, slated for 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 19, will bring together Durham residents to discuss ways of improving the local community through partnerships and collaboration. The event will take place in the A.E. Student Union. Tajii Kimball, chief technology officer for Text2Give, a company that specializes in mobile communication to help nonprofit organizations reach their fundraising goals, will be the featured speaker. This event is sponsored by the NCCU Centennial Scholars Program and is open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
NCCU will kickoff its King Holiday Observance by ringing the Shepard Bell at 9:15 a.m. on Jan. 20. NCCU Chancellor Dr. Debra Saunders-White, United Way of the Greater Triangle CEO and President Mack Koonce and Ms. Felecia Quinn, resident of McDougald Terrace, a multi-family public housing community near NCCU, will ring the bell and provide brief remarks. The bell ringing ceremony is part of a national initiative spearheaded by the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta. The ringing of the bell symbolizes a commitment to choosing nonviolence and peace in 2014.
At the conclusion of the bell ringing, NCCU, in partnership with the United Way of the Greater Triangle, will sponsor community service activities to benefit the residents of McDougald Terrace. The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LeRoy T. Walker Complex on the NCCU campus. More than 200 volunteers will create soup mixes and pantry items, make warm scarves and teddy bears and create educational flash cards for residents, in response to community requests. Financial and other educational workshops will be provided to nearly 200 McDougald Terrace residents. Topics will include interviewing techniques, skill coaching for success and stress management. Children will participate in reading and mathematical literacy activities.
From 1-4 p.m. on Jan. 20, NCCU and Duke University students will again work together on a project to create packaged meals during the Million Meals Project at Durham Technical Community College. The meal-packaging program, created in 2005 by Stop Hunger Now, combines rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. Each meal costs only 25 cents and has a shelf-life of five years. The meals packaged during the Million Meals event will be used in crisis situations and in school feeding programs for schools and homes for displaced children in developing countries around the world.
Additionally, the university will continue its work on the NCCU Food Pantry, slated to open in February 2014. The concept for the pantry, which is being housed in the Dent Human Sciences Building, was developed by campuswide NCCU Food Pantry Committee, Jason O Briant, director of the NCCU Dietetics program and Dr. Deborah Bailey, director of the Academic Community Service Learning Program, in response to the food insufficiency faced by some in the NCCU community.
Bailey said that hunger has many faces. “We usually think of the homeless, but now it’s the person who lost their job six months ago or the single mother who is just one paycheck away from losing everything,” she said.
Even some NCCU students who rely on the university’s meal plan for a balanced diet may face challenges when they go home for the summer.
“Hunger is not just about not having food,” Bailey noted. “It is also about not having enough or the right food. If you have to rely on what the convenience store sells because there is no market in your neighborhood, that is food insufficiency. That is hunger.”
The NCCU Food Pantry will be available to students initially before serving others in the community.
“The majority of NCCU’s undergraduate and graduate campus is financial-aid dependent,” Bailey said. “Many of our students work multiple jobs in addition to carrying full academic loads. These conditions create the perfect storm for food insufficiency.”
For more information on any of the MLK events and service projects, contact Dr. Deborah Bailey at 919-530-6143 or email@example.com.