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New Hanover County Schools Honors the Life and Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Martin Luther King, Jr.New Hanover County Schools is honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by encouraging staff, students, parents and the community to participate in the many local commemorative events. Martin Luther King Jr. Day has a special significance to Wilmingtonians because he was scheduled to travel to Wilmington for a speaking engagement on the day he was assassinated.

Dr. King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. He was a Baptist minister and civil rights leader with eloquent speech, bravery, and brilliance. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. Although Monday, January 15, 2018, is the official Martin Luther King Day observance and many people will have the day off, it is a day established for reflection, service, and participation.

New Hanover County Schools is honoring Dr. King by devoting the January Diversity Matters show to his life and legacy. Diversity Matters is hosted by Valita Quattlebaum, Chief Communications Officer, and designed to highlight the diversity-related activities throughout New Hanover County Schools and the greater Wilmington region. Deborah Maxwell, President of the Wilmington Chapter of the NAACP and Brandon Hickman, Program Director at Cumulus Broadcasting Coast 97.3 Radio, were the show’s guest. The show will air the entire month of January 2018. Individual schools will have their own commemorative events and activities.

The Southeastern North Carolina (SENC) MLK Jr. Celebration Committee, lead by Hollis Briggs, has an annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster and Essay Contest for K-12 grade students. First place winners receive $100, second place winners receive $50, and third place winners receive $30. The 2018 Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster and Essay Contest winners are:

Elementary School:

  • 1st Place - Jayden McMillian, Castle Hayne Elementary School
  • 2nd Place - Aaron Rayburn, Castle Hayne Elementary School

Middle School:

  • 1st Place - Emma Chryst, Home School
  • 2nd Place - Jazmin Parada, Myrtle Grove Middle School
  • 3rd Place - Lauren Tierney, Myrtle Grove Middle School

High School:

  • 1st Place - Liberty Finch, Laney High School

You can get involved by attending the following events planned by the SENC MLK Jr. Celebration Committee to motivate and raise self-awareness:

Thursday, January 11, 2018: The YWCA Lower Cape Fear Potluck for Peace at 6:00 p.m., at the William E. Murphy III Sports Complex at 401 South 8th Street.

Friday, January 12, 2018: SENC MLK Celebration Committee’s Annual Celebration Banquet “Life is a Gift, Living is to Give”. The guest speaker is Dr. James Anderson, Chancellor of Fayetteville State University, and the mistress of ceremony is Amanda Fitzpatrick, WWAY TV3 News Anchor. The banquet will be held at the Hilton Riverside Hotel at 301 North Water Street at 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, January 13, 2018: Family Fun Day will be hosted by the Wilmington Parks and Recreation Department and will be held at the William E. Murphy III Sports Complex at 401 South 8th Street at 11:00 a.m. There will be fun, games, face painting, and exhibits.

Saturday, January 13, 2018: There will be free admission to the Cape Fear Community College (CFCC) Women’s Basketball game at 1:00 p.m. and CFCC Men’s Basketball game at 3:00 p.m., at New Hanover High School’s Brogden Hall at 1307 Market Street.

Monday, January 15, 2018: The MLK Jr. Parade at 11:00 a.m., starting at 3rd and Hanover Streets and ending at 4th and Brunswick Streets in downtown Wilmington. Many NHCS students and staff will participate in the parade.

Additional events include:

Wednesday, January 24, 2018: Black History Month and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Luncheon “Building Upon the Foundation” sponsored by the Equal Employment Office, Black Employment Program, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District at 11:30 a.m., at the Pearsall Memorial Annex at 3902 Market Street. The guest speaker is Travis Corpening, CFCC Nixon Minority Male Leaders Director.

For more information on upcoming events or to purchase tickets to the SENC MLK Celebration Committee’s Annual Banquet, please visit their website at

For more information and how to purchase tickets to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District Commemorative Luncheon, please contact Penny Zortman at 910-251-4711 or Thekla Spencer at 910-251-4802.

For more information on school events visit  For more information on Diversity Matters, contact the Public Relations Division at 910-254-4245. To view the January edition of Diversity Matters commemorating Dr. King, go to

Posted: 01/12/18