Legacy, Sacrifice and ‘The Urgency of Now' Take Center Stage at Gantt Center for King Holiday

Panels Feature Harvey Gantt, James E. Ford, Braxton Winston and local student leaders 

On Monday, January 15, 2018, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture will open its doors an hour early, at 9:00 a.m., to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Known for thought-provoking and culturally rich programming, the Gantt Center will host a day of panel discussions, art-making workshops, an animated biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., guided gallery tours, artistic performances and much more, all free to the community. Invited speakers include civic leader Harvey B. Gantt, 2014-15 North Carolina Teacher of the Year James E. Ford, Assistant Mecklenburg County Public Defender Toussaint Romain, Charlotte City Council Member-At-Large Braxton Winston, Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Rickye McCoy-Mitchell and a collective of student leaders from local high schools and universities.

Gantt Center President and CEO David R. Taylor said, “Today’s open house is our gift to the community for its continued support of the Gantt Center. This year, we are pleased to welcome some of Charlotte’s most impactful leaders to drive the conversation on how we take action. These panels will be informative and interactive, so that participants are motivated to affect change on an individual level once the discussions have ended.”

Activities also include workshops led by mixed media artist Jeffrey Weatherford at 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 2:00 p.m. Admission is free for the full day, but RSVPs are encouraged. Visit ganttcenter.org for complete program times and details. The annual event, sponsored by Food Lion takes place at the Gantt Center located at 551 S. Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.


9:00 am - 10:00 am
Animated Film: My Friend Martin (second showing at 3:30pm)

9:00 am - 10:00 am
Pedagogy of Survival: The Power of One

This interactive session includes the first-hand narratives of two desegregation pioneers—their stories, sufferings, and pedagogy of survival and gives voice to unsung heroes and the often overlooked view of the young adult. It includes the narratives of Harvey Gantt who states that pioneers can’t expect to feel normal, a public school administrator who speaks to the power of words and the influence of a grandmother and a young adult whose story tells us that one’s pedagogy of survival is not limited to adulthood.

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Student Led Panel: I Am the Legacy

Led by UNC Charlotte Levine Scholar Daiana James, five students from local high schools, universities, and community organizations such as Girl Talk Foundation and Young Black Male Leadership Alliance will share their own experiences in school around taking action, being a good learner, standing for justice and perseverance; how they see themselves as the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and issue a call to action for the entire community.

12 noon - 12:50 pm
Freedom Songs Performance by Quentin Talley

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Panel: The Urgency of Now: The Dream, True Education and a Call to Action

In his I Have a Dream speech, Dr. King speaks to the fierce urgency of now as it relates to active engagement, the promises of democracy, racial justice and injustice.  Charlotte civic leader and former mayor Harvey B. Gantt joins
educator and community leader James E. Ford and Mecklenburg County District Court Judge Rickye McKoy-Mitchell in a conversation about our educational system, particularly the disproportionalities reflected in the areas of academics and discipline. The urgency of now is always at hand and the time to take action, to be a learner, to stand for justice, and to persevere is critical. Moderated by Janine Davis, V101.9 FM News Director/Founder of Girl Talk Foundation.

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Panel: What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

Assistant Mecklenburg County Public Defender Toussaint Romain, UNC Wilmington Associate Dean for Teacher Education Dr. Donyell Roseboro, and Charlotte City Council Member-At-Large Braxton Winston come together to connect the sacrifice made regarding Dr. King’s philosophy and dream to the sacrifice required today to continue to promote the dream, true education and a call to action.


The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is a multi-disciplinary arts institution located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1974, the Gantt Center’s mission is to present, preserve and celebrate excellence in the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent through visual and literary arts, dance, music, film, educational programs, theatre productions and community outreach. The Gantt Center features fine art exhibitions from around the world and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America, and is accessible online.

Named for Charlotte civic leader and former mayor Harvey Bernard Gantt, the Gantt Center is housed in an inspired and distinguished award-winning structure designed by architect Philip Freelon, co-designer of the new Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture. For more information, visit ganttcenter.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Posted on Monday, January 08, 2018

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