Diversity and Inclusion

Message from OIDI and Student Affairs 

January 14, 2022 

Dear Campus Community, 

In a few days, we will honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on what is now a national, federally recognized holiday. Signed into law on November 2, 1983, by President Ronald Reagan, the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK Jr. Day) was first celebrated as a federal holiday on January 20, 1986. Decades later, we recognize this day as a national day of service to remember and lift up Dr. King’s commitment to civil rights. His focus on non-violent civil disobedience became a cornerstone of the civil rights movement. That focus was clear, direct and purposeful. He challenged us to consider the necessity of direct action and the constructive tension it creates in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

Facing persistent death threats, on April 3, 1968 Dr. King delivered his last public address entitled “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop.” The next day, he was assassinated.  

In his final address, he maintained his faith in us. He believed that we could transcend the fear, hatred and racism that had justified slavery and segregation. He believed that justice would overcome, that love would prevail. Here we are, trying to live that dream. 

As we reflect upon our future together, consider the ways Dr. King posed unwavering, persistent questions. With that questioning spirit, we ask “How can we live that dream?” How can we inquire and listen? How can we ask more meaningful questions of ourselves and each other? How can we use those questions to face our imperfections? How can we see the ever-present hurt our friends, colleagues, and neighbors of color face when they step into a world still touched by inequity? The challenge for us, on this MLK Jr. Day - ask better questions, hear each other, and act in hope.   

In honor of this national day of service, let’s commit ourselves to building better communities. Find a project or organization and volunteer. Attend an event to listen and reflect. Continue to ask courageous questions. The dream is our reality to claim. Use our Seahawk spirit to fly, together. 

Always in hope,   

Dr. Donyell Roseboro 

Chief Diversity Officer, Interim   

Dr. Lowell Davis 

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs   

Opportunities for student engagement: 

Office of Student Leadership and Engagement Service Opportunities   

Below are other opportunities for faculty, staff and student engagement. Please note that these events are subject to change due to COVID. Please be safe and practice social distancing while attending any events.  

MLK Fun Day!
Jan. 15, 202211 a.m.-2 p.m. 
MLK Community Center 
401 S. 8th Street
Free community event
Questions? Call 910.341.7866  

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade 
Jan. 17, 2022, 11 a.m. 
Parade starts on N. Third Street from Hanover to Princess Streets 
Volunteer for the parade. Volunteer walk-through is Jan. 16 at 1 p.m.in the parking lot behind the Wilson Center.  

Jan. 15, 3-5 p.m.
Kenan Auditorium
Purchase tickets at UNCW Kenan Auditorium ticket office or online

MLK Jr. Day Performance, The Walls Group 
UNCW Upperman African American Cultural Center 
Feb. 13, 2022 
Kenan Auditorium
Details forthcoming 

Share your MLK Day community service by using the hashtag #MLKDayUNCW