2023 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, ‘From Dream to Reality,’ welcomes distinguished alumni

2023 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, “From Dream to Reality,” welcomes distinguished alumni
Thursday, January 12, 2023

On Tuesday, Jan. 17, UNC Charlotte will host “From Dream to Reality: Discussing Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy with Alumni Leaders” from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Cone University Center, McKnight Hall. It marks a return to an in-person format for this annual observance, which for the last two years was offered virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sponsored by the Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement, the program will include opening remarks by Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber and a choral music presentation. The event’s main feature is an alumni panel moderated by Maliah Graves, president of the Black Student Union. 

"At the heart of UNC Charlotte's mission is the desire to serve our community through education, discovery and innovation,” said Gaber. “Dr. King's vision of a better, more equitable world continues to serve as inspiration for what is possible when we work together for positive change."

“From Dream to Reality” panelists are:

  • Kimberly Wright-Moore ’95 is the chief teammate officer and head of enterprise diversity for Truist Financial Corporation. Responsible for human resource management, she leads teammate relations and talent acquisition, talent management, learning and development, teammate experience, payroll, total rewards, enterprise diversity, and human capital systems. She also oversees the Truist Leadership Institute. She is a member of the Truist Foundation board of directors and serves on the board of advisors for UNC Charlotte Belk College of Business as well as the board of directors for Freedom School Partners. 
  • Ohavia Phillips ’15 is a media personality from Brooklyn, New York, and host of “The Oh Show.” Oh, as she is known, has been featured in numerous international and local publications, including Southpark Magazine, Charlotte's Creative Newspaper, Charlotte Magazines and Elevate Magazine and was named Best Local Celebrity and Best Activist by Queen City Nerve. She is host of a podcast titled “Beautiful People with Ohavia Phillips,” sponsored by Queen City Podcast Network and OrthoCarolina. She is pursuing a dream to establish a multimedia company focused on positive content and meaningful dialogue.
  • Allen Levi Simmons ’20, is an entrepreneur, motivational speaker, purpose coach, IBM software support professional and author of “Can I Speak?,” a poetry collection that explores his experiences as a veteran with PTSD. He is host of “The Purpose Pod,” a podcast designed to offer audiences insight into defining life direction and purpose.

Following the discussion is the University’s annual candle lighting ceremony led by members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and closing remarks by Brandon Wolfe, associate vice chancellor, Office of Diversity and Inclusion. At the program’s conclusion, attendees are invited to gather at a community reception in the Cone University Center’s Lucas Room.

The program is free and open to the public. Parking, available at Cone Visitor Parking Deck, 8921 University Road, 28262, will be validated for guests.

Join UNC Charlotte's MLK Day of Service

On Saturday, Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Office of Leadership and Community Affairs, Division of Student Affairs, will offer several volunteer opportunities at local nonprofit organizations, including the Jamil Niner Food Pantry. Sign up at NinerEngage; learn more here. Volunteers will meet in the Cone Center, Lucas Room, for a welcome, to visit service sites and return to reflect on service experiences. 

Additional opportunities to honor Dr. King’s legacy

Join UNC Charlotte’s Department of Music as it presents Bridging Musical Worlds: Celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in partnership with A Sign Of The Times of the Carolinas,  Charlotte Strings Collective, Charlotte Folk Society and Tosco Music. The event, which features jazz, classical, folk and R&B, takes place at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford Road, at 4 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 15. Tickets are $10.

This year, UNC Charlotte is partnering with the city of Charlotte to offer a comprehensive array of events honoring Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. For more information, visit the city of Charlotte.

  • Saturday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m
    MLK P.E.A.C.E. Basketball Tournament
    Carole Hoeffner Center, 615 East 6th Street 28202
    Tickets $10 at the door
  • Sunday, Jan. 15, 2:30 p.m.
    MLK March

    Tryon Street and Phifer Avenue to the MLK statue in Marshall Park
    Registration has closed for marchers; the public is invited to line the route to Marshall Park
  • Sunday, Jan. 15, 3 p.m.
    MLK Memorial Service & Wreath Laying

    MLK Statue in Marshall Park
    Open to the public
  • Monday, Jan. 16, 7 to 8 p.m.
    WBTV Special: MLK Jr. Holiday Celebration 

    WBTV, Channel 3; additional content available on WBTV’s Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire apps