Black History Month Events at UNC

This month is Black History Month and there are some upcoming events scheduled for the rest of the month related to race and black history. This is an opportunity to observe the profound contributions of African American people and leaders, and to honor the leaders in our own lives as well. The following events featured for the rest of this month are geared to provide a cultural perspective and an opportunity for UNC SOM, faculty, staff, and students to dedicate time to recognize & celebrate the stories and histories that are often overlooked.

Conference on Race, Class, Gender, & Ethnicity: “There’s no Place like Home: Housing in Crisis”

Saturday, February 24 @ 9:00 am, UNC School of Law

The 2018 Conference on Race, Class, Gender, & Ethnicity – run entirely by UNC law students – will examine both the positive advances and the stalled progress in law and policy to address the crucial housing issues faced by so many. Focusing on North Carolina, the Conference invites practitioners, academics, advocates, and local community members to consider how the law has both supported and failed those seeing shelter and stable, affording housing, and what steps can be taken to ensure that housing is guaranteed as a human right for individuals and families.

This year’s Keynote Speaker is Mr. Vann R. Newkirk II, staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy with a focus on voting rights, civil rights, and health policy.

Other speakers include:

Courtney Morton, Housing and Homelessness Research Coordinator for Mecklenburg County Community Support Services.
Satana Deberry, Executive Director of the North Carolina Housing Coalition.
Christopher Taylor, Deputy Regional Administrator for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Region IV.
Michael Stegman, Bipartisan Policy Center fellow at UNC Chapel Hill.
Linda Joyner, Youth Case Manager with OIC, Inc. and Community Activist.
Holt Moore, City Attorney for Lumberton, NC.
Amanda Martin, UNC Department of City and Regional Planning.
Amily McCool, Legal and Political Director at the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
Brenda White, Commissioner for the Commission on the Status of Women in Greensboro, domestic violence survivor.
Sarah Hill Colwell, Staff Attorney in Immigrant and Refugee Rights at the NC Justice Center.
Ashley Clark, Director of Outreach and Strategic Partnerships at UNC Charlotte Urban Institute.
Jeffrey Dillman, Project Manager at Legal Aid of North Carolina Fair Housing Project.

***FREE for Triangle Area students with ID, Non-Area Students $20, Community Member/Non-CLE Attorney $20, CLE Applicant Attorney $100. Breakfast and lunch included.

Registration required at:

Black Panther Movie Night: UNC/Duke/NCCU

Saturday, February 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm, AMC Theater at Southpoint

As part of Black History Month, please join groups from UNC, Duke and NCCU for Black Panther movie night!

Event will take place at AMC Theater in Southpoint. Please go to for details on transportation.

2nd Annual Wilson Caldwell Day

Sunday, February 25 @ 3:00pm, Old Chapel Hill Cemetery

Sunday, February 25 @ 3:30pm, School of Government (Panel Discussion)

This event honors the legacy of Wilson Caldwell, who was born into slavery on Feb. 27, 1841 and owned (along with his mother) by David Lowry Swain, who served as University president from 1835 to 1868. Caldwell was the first African American elected to any office in Chapel Hill (BSM/NAACP).

This is the second annual Wilson Caldwell Day, which was conceived by students Kristen Marion and Elizabeth Brown, who were students in the “Civil War, Race and Memory at UNC” class taught by Jim Leloudis, professor of history. Leloudis, who is also associate dean for Honors Carolina, co-chair of the Task Force on UNC-Chapel Hill History and director of the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, designed the course to illuminate the campus’ racial history.

This event begins at the Old Chapel Hill Cemetery at 3:00 p.m. and then moves to the School of Government at 3:30.

A panel decision on race relations in Chapel Hill (and how it compares and contrasts with race relations on UNC’s campus) will run from 3:45-4:45 p.m., followed by an array of community resource tables to promote more shared activity between the campus and the city communities.

Mary D. Williams: “Voices of Freedom: Music and the Civil Rights Movement”

Sunday, February 25 @ 3:00 pm-5:00 pm, the Friday Center

Join gospel singer and educator Mary D. Williams for an aural history tour through performance of the music from the Civil Rights Movement, and come prepared to participate!

As part of the Civil Rights Movement, 2018 will commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision of The Poor People’s Campaign, or Poor People’s March on Washington, an effort dedicated to economic justice for poor people in the United States. “We Shall Overcome” and “Go Tell it on the Mountain” are two of the many songs that were part of the march and are considered anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. These songs had their roots as spirituals in their representation of the enslaved narrative. Many gospel songs and spirituals were repurposed and changed lyrically into what we know today as Civil Rights and Movement songs. Singers and musicians collaborated to develop songs that expressed determination and activism during mass meetings, marches, sit-ins, freedom rides and Parchman Prison. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once quoted, ”The freedom songs are playing a strong and vital role in our struggle.”

Mary D. Williams currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. As a performer and historian, Ms. Williams has become a leading voice and authority on the narrative of music and black southern culture. For over a decade, she has educated students, teachers, and communities about race through experimental lectures that blend performance, classroom engagement and traditional lecturing. She believes the music of her ancestors still has the power to bring people together today, as it did during slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. Recognized as one of the best gospel singers in the country, her aural history tour showcases protest songs from the Civil Rights Era and examines their connections to slavery and the Negro spirituals of that time. She uses music to help others examine and understand our shared history. Her performance offers a powerful message of faith, freedom, and celebration of the human spirit.

Admission is free. 

Advance registration is requested. To register call 919-962-3000, or email 

Performance at 3 pm. Reception to follow at 4 pm.

BSM GBM: Viewing of “Celebration of Blackness”

Sunday, February 25 @ 5:30 pm- 6:30 pm, SASB North, Upendo Lounge

As part of Black History Month, please join in a screening of Celebration of Blackness.