NC Martin Luther King Jr. Commission

NC Martin Luther King Jr. Commission

History of the Commission

The Commission works to encourage appropriate ceremonies and activities throughout the state relating to the observance of the legal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. It also works to promote among the people of NC an awareness and appreciation of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The commission is governed by General Statute 143B-426.34A and General Statute 143B-426.34B.

Oct. 25, 2023 Resolution on Education

2024 NC State Employees' MLK Observance Program

The 2024 Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Program was held Friday Jan. 12, 2024, in person at First Baptist Church (101 South Wilmington Street). The ceremony was also streamed live online.

The program included the presentation of the 2024 John R. Larkins Award, given annually to a state employee who demonstrates extraordinary commitment to equality and justice in the workplace and dedication to improving conditions in local communities through volunteerism and community service.

Letter from Birmingham City Jail 60th Anniversary


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and jailed in Birmingham, Alabama on April 16, 1963, for participating in anti-segregation protests. During that time, he wrote his famous Letter from Birmingham City Jail to respond to criticism he received from religious leaders. 

The commission recognizes the sense of urgency to eliminate racial inequities created by the letter is as present today as it was in 1963. The MLK Jr. Commission urges all North Carolinians to read to Dr. King’s Letter, consider its relevance in today’s world, and take action to eliminate racial inequities across the state.

Read the Letter

Watch the Webinar

May 1, 2023

Panel Discussion: The Letter's Legacy & Continuing Impact

On this 60th anniversary of Dr. King's letter from Birmingham City jail, we celebrate his courageous spirit and unwavering determination. We reflect on Dr. King's words which still resonate today. - Governor Roy Cooper

Gov. Cooper on the 60th Anniversary

Video: NC AG Office Reads the Letter

Resources & Discussion Starters

Livin' the Dream Initiative Grants

Through this project, the MLK Jr. Commission seeks to increase the capacity and impact of BIPOC-ed and/or grassroots organizations in North Carolina working to advance the vision of Dr. King.

2022-23 Grant Cycle

The MLK Jr. Commission awarded $45,000 to 12 North Carolina organizations as part of the 2022-23 grant cycle. Click for the list of recipients.

About the Commission

The Commission consists of 16 members. Membership includes:

  • 12 Governor appointees, including the chair
  • Two appointees by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate
  • Two appointees by the Speaker of the House of Representative

Meeting Information


2024 Meetings
Jan. 31, 2024
March 27, 2024
April 24, 2024
May 29, 2024
June 26, 2024

For meeting minutes, email Jordan Hanna

Want to Serve? Find Your Fit!

Members of the public interested in joining one of the over 300 North Carolina boards and commissions can apply for Governor appointment online. If interested in joining a DOA board or commission, you can also reach out to for more information and to be considered when there are open positions.

2023 Commission Members

Member Name City County Appointed By
Demetrius Deloatch Conway Northhampton Governor
Lucy H.F. Dinner Raleigh Wake Governor
Dr. Rodney E. Harris (Chair) Youngsville Franklin Governor
Jamilla Hawkins Tarboro Edgecombe Governor
Stan K. Holt Durham Durham Governor
Verlina P. Lomick Gastonia Cleveland Senate Pro Tem
Dr. Allison Mathews Winston-Salem Forsyth Governor
Walter Rogers Laurel Hill Scotland Governor
Rebecca Trammel Wilmington New Hanover Governor
Kenneth Raymond Winston-Salem Forsyth Speaker of the House
Dr. Roosevelt McPherson Raeford Hoke Speaker of the House
Dr. Tiffany Tuma Raleigh Wake Governor
Jennifer Nehlsen Black Mountain Buncombe Governor
Catherine Williamson-Hardy Durham Durham Governor
Rev. Dr. Warren Herndon Durham Granville Governor
Laureen G. Jones Franklinton Franklin Senate Pro Tem