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University celebrates MLK with observance program

Dr. Francys Johnson
Dr. Francys Johnson speaks about the message of MLK

The University of North Georgia honored the memory and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. last week with an observance program celebrating his teachings.

The event, held on the Dahlonega campus, featured keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Francys Johnson, whose speech reflected the event’s theme of “Injustice Anywhere is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”

“I am so pleased to see our campus celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day in this way,” said UNG President Dr. Bonita Jacobs. “It is so important for us to remember and study the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

In giving the occasion address, Dr. Maria Calatayud, associate professor of Spanish, reiterated that we must continue to follow MLK’s message, as the achievement of his dream is close, but still incomplete.

“I am glad to be here,” Johnson said during his keynote address. “My being here is a reflection that we have come a long way. It is an honor to be in Dahlonega, so close to the birthplace of that drum major of justice, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The program was created through a partnership between Student Health Services and the Office of Multicultural Services. The event involved support by members of the Corps of Cadets including: the presentation of colors, singing of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by the Patriot Choir, and the singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the African-American National Anthem, by cadet Jerry Bradley.

The university has planned several other events for the Dahlonega campus to celebrate Black History Month, including:

  • Keynote Program – Feb. 4, 6:00 p.m., Hoag Auditorium, featuring keynote speaker Rep. Alisha T. Morgan
  • Open Mic Night – Feb. 12, 7:00 p.m., Hoag Auditorium
  • Screening of movie “Glory” and discussion – Feb. 20, 6:00 p.m., Library Technology Center, Special Collection Room 382
  • Soul Food Cook-off – Feb. 28, 12:30 p.m., Hoag Student Center Great Room

To request more information, register for Open Mic Night, or to enter a dish for the cook-off, please send an email to

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