Michael Eric Dyson Keynote Speaker for UNCW’s Virtual 2021 MLK Celebration

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Michael Eric Dyson, one of the nation’s greatest thinkers, distinguished writers and renowned orators, is the keynote speaker for UNCW's virtual 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. celebration slated for Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m.
The event, "An Evening with Michael Eric Dyson," is presented by the N.C. Cultural Center Consortium consisting of Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, the University of North Carolina Wilmington and Western Carolina University. Registration for the virtual event is required. Participants will receive a Zoom link to access the event after registering here.

“We are excited to partner with our sister universities and their cultural centers in continuing the tradition of creating dynamic opportunities to meet the challenges of this historic pandemic,” said Sean Palmer, executive director of the Upperman African American Cultural Center. “We believe that we are poised in a very unique way to consider what it means to be in community locally and statewide. This is powerful for so many reasons, because we recognize that we are only a cough away from making our neighbor sick, or a mask away from keeping our neighbor safe. It is in that reality that we must consider what it means to be what Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. called ‘the beloved community.’”

Dyson’s scholarship has spanned a wide range of topics including race, religion, politics and contemporary issues in the African American community. He is a noted author of more than 20 books, including the forthcoming Long Time Coming: Reckoning with Race in America and the 2017 bestseller Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America. In addition, he has received two NAACP Image Awards and an American Book Award. Dyson is a Georgetown University sociology professor, a New York Times contributing opinion writer, and a contributing editor of The New Republic and of ESPN’s "The Undefeated" website.

“There is no greater time to have the esteemed and revered race scholar Michael Eric Dyson help us make sense of what it means to find a way forward in the middle of civil unrest, racial antagonism and a pandemic,” Palmer said. “Surely, a reorientation towards community is needed as a balm for where we are today. We welcome the intellectual engagement around the state, universities and our local communities... and we look forward to the conversations and dialogues that ensues afterward.”

-- Venita Jenkins