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Honoring the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Graphic that says MLK Celebration 2023, From Dream to Reality, Discussing Dr. King's Legacy with UNC Charlotte Alumni


UNC Charlotte’s Annual MLK Celebration
3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 17
McKnight Hall, Cone University Center

Join Chancellor Sharon L. Gaber as she welcomes three Charlotte alumni for the annual MLK Celebration featuring a panel discussion on “From Dream to Reality: Discussing Dr. King's Legacy with UNC Charlotte Alumni.” An open reception will follow in Lucas Room, Cone University Center.

The Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement (IEE) will lead a panel discussion with UNC Charlotte alumni to reflect on the work of Dr. King through the lens of three former 49ers whose personal and professional paths since graduation shape communities and generations to come. 

“This conversation brings together the unique perspectives of alumni who represent Niner Nation and in their own unique ways have been impacted by and carry on Dr. King’s work,” said Ryan McKeel, IEE assistant director. “We hope students as well as faculty and staff will sense a personal connection as we explore the challenges on the road to equality and justice, nationally and locally, while celebrating the legacy of Dr. King.” 

Panelists include:

  • Ohavia Phillips, Class of 2015 
  • Kimberly Moore-Wright, Class of 1995
  • Allen Levi Simmons, Class of 2020

Allen Levi Simmons ‘20 is an inspirational speaker and combat veteran who served four years in the United States Marine Corps. Simmons creates dialogue between people of different ethnic backgrounds and cultures. He is a father, husband, engineer, author, podcast host and entrepreneur. His motto has moved the hearts of those who desire motivation as they journey through life; it is a lifestyle and a mindset: Never Stop Never Quit Repeat!™. He holds a B.S. in electrical engineering technology from the William States Lee College of Engineering at Charlotte. He is a software support professional at IBM as well as an IBM everyday influencer, and an advocate for mental health and veterans. 

Kimberly Moore-Wright ‘95 is chief teammate officer and head of enterprise diversity at Charlotte-based Truist Financial, one of the largest commercial banks in the nation. In this role, she is responsible for all aspects of human resource management, including teammate relations and talent acquisition, talent management, learning and development, teammate experience, payroll, total rewards, enterprise diversity, and human capital systems. She is a member of the company’s executive leadership team. Moore-Wright, who studied accounting at Charlotte, serves on the Belk College of Business Board of Advisors.

Ohavia (Oh) Phillips ‘15 is a successful media figure from Brooklyn, New York, and host of her own popular show, The Oh Show. She majored in Communications at Charlotte and graduated with her master’s with honors from Walden University in crisis communication and public relations. She is recognized as a talented interviewer who crafts important conversations while creating safe spaces. Ohavia has been featured in numerous international and local magazines, including Southpark Magazine, Charlotte's Creative Newspaper, Charlotte Magazines, and Elevate Magazine. Queen City Nerve named her the Best Local Celebrity and Best Activist.​ Ohavia is currently an in-arena host with the Charlotte Hornets and Greensboro Swarm and a full-time media business owner.

For more information, contact the Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement.


UNC Charlotte's MLK Day of Service
9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 28
Meet in Lucas Room, Cone University Center
Register at NinerEngage

Each year, on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a "day on, not a day off." MLK Day of Service, this year on Saturday, Jan. 28, is intended to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, create solutions to social problems, and move us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."

On this day of service, Leadership & Community Engagement offers several volunteer opportunities at local Charlotte nonprofits, including the Jamil Niner Food Pantry.  These opportunities are open to UNC Charlotte students, faculty and staff. Sign up at NinerEngage to join other Charlotte volunteers on Jan. 28 in the Lucas Room in Cone University Center to meet in the morning for the welcome, visit service sites, and then return for a reflection on service and Dr. King's message.

For more information, contact Leadership & Community Engagement.