MLK Memorial

MLK Campus Commemoration

In the year 2021, the African American Cultural Center at NC State recognizes that the state of affairs for Black students, staff, faculty and folx at NC State and all over the world calls for both restoration and transformation.

Committed to being a partner in the liberation of all people, we commemorate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the intention of the Civil Rights Movement to end institutionalized racial discrimination and disenfranchisement. During this celebration and always, we center the untold stories and the overlooked populations of trans and gender non-conforming humans, sexually-minoritized peoples and the women and femme thinkers and intellectuals who were and are the backbone of our movements.

This commemorative time will lead us into a celebration of Black history at NC State, its surrounding community and within American society. We will center thinkers, intellectuals and storytellers who center pluralistic views of Blackness and the progression of Blackness and civil rights today.

As we actively engage and listen to our community, we have heard that folx are tired, underresourced and unprepared for what is happening in our lives. Within the coronavirus pandemic, our community has been asked to move and shift without caution. Furthermore, for as long as we can remember, the disease of racism has also been a chronic condition (Manley, 2020) within the lived experiences of Black, African and African American folx. Moving throughout these compounding experiences we have heard students, staff and faculty name specific needs for moving forward: healing, consistency and restored connection to one another and their communities and collectives.

We invited community activists, organizers and partners to help us re-center the power of radical imaginations and to offer continuous support for the journey. Through these offerings, we hope for restoration and the building of deliberate and consistent space for our community to move with intention alongside one another if they choose.

We hope you join us in the celebration of the Reverend Doctor, Martin Luther King Jr. recognizing, as he stated (c. 1967), “Our freedom was not won a century ago, and it is not won today; but some small part of it is in our hands, and we are marching no longer by ones and twos but in legions of thousands, convinced it cannot be denied by any human force.”

Calendar of Events

Intergenerational Conversation: The Legacy of Radical Imagining and the Unsung Heroes as Situated by Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan. 21 | 12:30 – 2 p.m. | Zoom Webinar

An intergenerational community conversation that centers the untold stories and the unsung heroes of our movements. This session will feature local thinkers, intellectuals and storytellers who center pluralistic views of Blackness and Blackness’ civil rights progression today.  This conversation will provide the audience with insights on what can be done locally to reimagine our futures.

Conversation with Mandy Carter (SONG NC), Dr. Blair L.M. Kelley (NC State Interdisciplinary Studies and International Programs), Cheryl Crooms Williams (Friends of Oberlin) and others.

What to expect: 

This is an intergenerational community conversation via webinar. There is no expectation for participants to have their cameras on nor to speak; however, they will have an opportunity to engage with our guests via the chat and by proposing questions for discussion.


MLK Master Class Workshop Series with Ashley Gaddy Enterprises

This Master Class series will curate space for students, staff and faculty to collectively expand as we consider the historical and contemporary issues that surround thinking and doing amidst global pandemics. The workshops will be limited to 50 people and registration would be on a first-come, first-served basis with a waiting list.


Jan. 28 | 6 – 8 p.m. | What are we doing? Looking Back and Moving Forward

With our ears to the ground, the African American Cultural Center recognizes that within multiple global pandemics that impact Black lives in significant ways, our community is somewhat at a standstill and asking ourselves one central question: “What the hell do we do now?” Ashley Gaddy will help us find the answer to this question in this master class. Inspired by the call from individual students and student organizations who are needing to revive their purpose and the way they do their work; suitable for staff, faculty and community members who are seeking more inspiration for how we move forward in uncertain times.

Feb. 24  | 6 – 8 p.m. | Rest is Our Liberation: How do you rest while seeking freedom?

Centering the Black History Month theme, “Rest is Our Liberation,” this masterclass will center on a justice-focused theory of rest, recognizing rest and freedom is a human right, yet not afforded to all. If you are overwhelmingly tired, stuck in the hustle and grind culture, constantly feel like an imposter or believe you have to do it all, this session may be for you.

March 30 | 6 – 8 p.m. | The Revolution Within Us: Finding Your Leadership Identity

Sometimes we forget who we are. Often we are told who we are. This masterclass allows us to reclaim our leadership identity and to become our own authors by looking within and recognizing the individual and collective power that surrounds us. Its focus will help you think about how you may want to be a change agent and give you the skills to start the path towards legacy-making. Acceptable for anyone looking to restore and transform self and communities.

April 26 | 6 – 8 p.m.| Asserting the Humanity of Blackness to Reclaim

As we talk about sexual violence, we also recognize a need to look historically at how we think about flesh, body and humanity. Within this master class, we look historically to move towards a future that tells whole stories of Black bodies. Here we think about how Black women, Black trans folx and Black GNC (gender non-conforming) folx have set the tone for how we reclaim ourselves and move towards liberatory futures. We examine the movements they have created. We reflect on how these movements have empowered us today. From these reflections, we build futures to everyday claim freedom.