MLK celebration events to be held Jan. 19-24

Brandon Robinson

Brandon Robinson

Brandon A. Robinson, an attorney, two-time Western Carolina University alumnus and member of the WCU Board of Visitors, will be the keynote speaker for the institution’s annual celebration in honor of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Robinson will speak at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in the Grandroom of A.K. Hinds University Center. The address and all King celebration events at WCU are free and open to the public.

At WCU, Robinson earned a bachelor’s degree in European history with a minor in philosophy in 2005 and a master’s degree in American history in 2010. He worked for three years as a resident assistant in Reynolds Hall and served on a variety of committees related to student and academic affairs. In addition, he undertook a self-directed reading project of 300 books, including Western philosophers from Plato to Immanuel Kant; biographies of American presidents and British monarchs; and classics of English, French and American literature. As a senior in 2004, he was selected to deliver the address at fall commencement.

After graduating from the North Carolina Central University School of Law in 2013, Robinson worked in the office of Tom Ross, University of North Carolina system president, on the UNC Campus Security Initiative – a systemwide initiative to address campus safety, justice for sexual assault victims, due process of law in student disciplinary processes and crime reporting on UNC campuses. After completion of the UNC Campus Security Initiative report, Robinson began practicing as an attorney in the areas of constitutional law, real estate and real property, wills and trusts, and corporation and nonprofit law in the North Carolina Triangle region. In addition to serving as an inaugural member of the WCU Board of Visitors, he is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina.

Other events planned at WCU as part of the King celebration, which is themed “We As One,” range from a recitation of King’s “Letter From a Birmingham Jail” to two days of service.

On Monday, Jan. 19, and Saturday, Jan. 24, a range of service activities will take place at varying locations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is coordinated by WCU’s Center for Service Learning.

At 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 19, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity will host a unity march on campus that convenes at the back of the University Center on the third floor followed by roundtable discussions about social justice in the University Center Grandroom.

On Tuesday, Jan. 20, students will recite various speeches of social justice from the University Center balcony at noon. Then at 5 p.m., a town hall discussion centered on issues of diversity within the campus community will be held in the University Center theater.

On Thursday, Jan. 22, students will perform music and showcase art that fueled the civil rights movement in club Illusions in the University Center at 6 p.m.

University administrative offices will be closed Jan. 19 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

To sign up to participate in a service activity, contact Jennifer Cooper, assistant director of service learning, at jacooper@wcu.edu. For more information about the celebration, contact Takeshia Brown, associate director of intercultural affairs, at ftbrown@wcu.edu or 828-227-2276.