Spring semester classes start today at UNCG and N.C. A&T and several other area schools, and it's reflected in the recent uptick in announced lectures and other campus events. There's no point in bringing a speaker to campus, in other words, if there's no one around to hear her or him.
Here's what I know about for the rest of January. Everything's free unless noted.
Jan. 14: Actress Sonia Manzano, who played "Maria" on "Sesame Street," will give the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Address at Elon University (6 p.m., McCrary Theatre; tickets are $15). Manzano also has written a memoir and several books for children and young adults. The university says she'll talk about multiracial Latinos and the civil rights movement. Call 336-278-5610 for tickets.
Jan. 16: "Hop Into History" — a pop-up exhibition that details Greensboro's saloon scene during Prohibition — will be on display at Oden Brewing (5 to 7 p.m., 804 W. Gate City Boulevard). The one-night-only-event is being put together by UNCG Special Collections & University Archives, the host of Well Crafted NC, an online history of craft breweries across North Carolina.
Jan. 16: Historical comedian Ben Tumin will perform his one-man show at Guilford College (6 p.m., Bryan Auditorium in the Frank Family Science Center). "1954" explores the 1954 U.S.-led coup in Guatemala and its effect on migration. This event opens a two-day conference on migration at Guilford College.
Jan 17: The second annual Shifting Worlds Forced Migration Institute will run all day at Guilford College (registration opens at 8:30 a.m. in Founders Hall). Sessions will focus on topics related to refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants. Register in advance at www.guilford.edu/ShiftingWorlds.
Jan 20: The Rev. Michael A. Walrond Jr. will speak at High Point University's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Worship Service (11 a.m., Hayworth Memorial Chapel). "Pastor Mike" is the senior pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church in New York City's Harlem neighborhood. He's also the former university minister and director of the African American Campus Ministry at Duke University.
Jan. 20: The 2018 HBO documentary "King in the Wilderness" will be screened at Guilford College (1 p.m., Room 123 of King Hall). The film tells the story of the last two years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. A Q&A follows.
Jan. 20: Ibram X. Kendi, author of the best-selling “How to be an Antiracist," will speak at Wake Forest University (7 p.m., Wait Chapel). Kendi is a professor of history and international relations at American University in Washington, D.C., and the founding director of the university's Antiracist Research and Policy Center. Kendi's keynote speech will come during the Martin Luther King Jr. commemoration shared by Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State University. A book-signing follows.
Jan. 22: Global activist Natalie Warne will speak at the annual joint A&T-UNCG commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (7 p.m., A&T's Harrison Auditorium). Warne is a popular speaker who talks to young people and organizations looking to reach young people. A&T's jazz ensemble and gospel choir also are scheduled to perform.
Jan. 23: Writer and naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield will speak at High Point University (7 p.m., Plato S. Wilson School of Commerce Ballroom). An English professor and co-director of the creative writing program at Brandeis University in Massachusetts, Bradfield has written several poetry collections. Her latest work, “Toward Antarctica," chronicles her work as a ship guide in the world's most remote continent.
Jan. 28: Civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson will deliver the Reynolds Lecture at Davidson College (7 p.m., John M. Belk Arena). Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Ala. The current film "Just Mercy" is based on Stevenson's book of the same name. For tickets (free), call 704-894-2135 or click here.
Jan. 30: The Human Rights Research Network at UNCG will screen "The Innocents" (6:30 p.m., Room 120 of the School of Education Building).This 2016 film examines the aftermath of mass rape by Soviet soldiers in post-World War II Poland as they advanced on Germany. The moderator is Jeff Jones, an associate professor of history at UNCG.
Jan. 30: The documentary "A Quest for Meaning" will be screened at UNCG's Weatherspoon Art Museum (6:30 p.m.). The film tells the story of two childhood friends who travel the world to document people who are trying to create a sustainable world. The film is part of the UNCG Sustainability Film & Discussion Series.
Jan. 31: Journalist Roland S. Martin will be the keynote speaker at N.C. A&T's annual Sit-In Commemorative Program to mark the 60th anniversary of the downtown Greensboro civil rights protest. Martin is the host and managing editor of the online news show #RolandMartinUnfiltered. In a long career Martin has written several books, won a ton of journalism awards and has been named to Ebony Magazine's "150 Most Influential African Americans in the United States" four times. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. in the Alumni-Foundation Event Center followed by the program at 8 a.m. To get free tickets, stop by the University Ticket Office in Brown Hall or call 336-334-7749.