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In lieu of featuring an area nonprofit this month, we would like to use this space to encourage folks to get out and celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. UNC Asheville has an entire week of events including former Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy providing  the keynote address, and Professor Dwight Mullen will presenting the State of Black Asheville lecture. These events, along with films, discussions and other activities will be free and open to the public.

The theme of the week will be “The Purpose of Education: The Essence of Community Building,” says Dahlia Hylton, director of multicultural student programs and the Intercultural Center at UNC Asheville. “We’ve taken inspiration from Dr. King’s 1947 commentary in the Morehouse College student newspaper, The Purpose of Education, while striving to shift the narrative about what a complete education should lead to- feeling empathy to others different from you, discerning the true from false, thinking critically- and how it can build and revitalize communities across all demographic lines.”

Events include:

Tuesday, Jan. 19thLunch-N-Learn: Social Justice and Service LearningBrown bag lunches are welcome for this discussion which takes place from noon – 1pm in the Intercultural Center, Highsmith Union.

Tuesday, Jan. 19thThe State of Black Asheville Lecture Dwight Mullen, UNC Asheville professor of political science, has for years led his students in researching the economic, political, education and health status of Asheville’s black community. He will present findings at 6 pm in Highsmith Union, rooms 221-222

Wednesday, Jan. 20thFilm Screening and Discussion: Tested Documentary filmmaker Curtis Chin will screen and discuss Tested, his film about how testing is used to select those admitted to elite public schools in New York City, and the impact of testing on students of different racial backgrounds. 6 pm in Highsmith Union, Alumni Hall

Thursday, Jan. 21- Creating a Culture of Inclusion – Keynote address by Terry Bellamy, former Mayor of Asheville. Bellamy, elected as Asheville’s first African-American mayor in 2005, was reelected in 2009 and served a total of eight years. An activist for affordable housing before entering politics, Bellamy has returned to that work, serving the Asheville Housing Authority as neighborhood outreach coordinator and communication specialist. 7 pm in Lipinsky Auditorium.

Friday, Jan. 22- Film Screening: Selma One of the most discussed films of recent years, Selma chronicles the 1965 march through Alabama led by Martin Luther King Jr. to demand voting rights. The brutal violence inflicted on the marchers drew the nation’s attention, which helped bring about the passage and signing of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 8 pm in Highsmith Union, Grotto.

For more information on any of these events, contact Dahlia Hylton at dhylton@unca.edu or 828-251-6577

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