Annual MLK Tribute Breakfast Scheduled for Jan. 11

Willie Joyner portrait, left, and Carroll Dashiell photo.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College has scheduled its annual MLK Scholarship Breakfast for Jan. 11 to honor the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The program, which begins at 9 a.m. and raises funding for the PCC Multicultural Activities Committee (MAC) Scholarship, will take place in the Chris Smith Multipurpose Room inside the Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Center for Student Advancement. Willie Joyner, principal at Third Street Academy and founder of the Hype Leadership and Performing Arts Academy, will serve as keynote speaker.

“Our theme for the 2024 MLK Tribute is ‘African Americans and the Arts,’” said Jasmin L. Spain, PCC Assistant Vice President of Student Support. “It’s going to be a great program for a great cause, and we’re excited about having Willie Joyner, an advocate for youth development, mentorship and advocacy for their ability to thrive as our speaker.”

In addition to Joyner’s remarks, the event will feature the presentation of the 2024 MAC Scholarship. Spain, a MAC member, said the committee established the award several years ago to provide opportunities for Pitt students to “live the dream that Dr. King referenced in many of his speeches.” He added that the scholarship is presented each year in honor or memory of an individual from the community who shares King’s ideals.

Spain says the 2024 scholarship will be presented in honor of Dr. Carroll V. Dashiell Jr., a North Carolina Trailblazer noted for excellence in the music industry as a bassist, musical director and composer/arranger. Dashiell spent more than 30 years on the faculty of East Carolina University’s School of Music before accepting a position with his alma mater, Howard University, earlier this year.

A Washington, D.C., native, Dashiell has performed with a number of music greats, including Ray Charles, the Boston Pops, National Symphony Orchestra, and Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic. In 1994, he played an instrumental role in creating the annual Greenville Grooves Music Festival, a celebration of Juneteenth and African-American Music Appreciation Month.

With more than 65 percent of Pitt’s student population receiving at least one form of financial aid, Spain says the MAC Scholarship and others like it go a long way toward making college accessible to the entire community.

“For those who cannot attend the tribute but would still like to support it, we hope they’ll consider making a donation or purchasing a ticket and sponsoring a student,” Spain said. “It’ll be an experience they’ll certainly remember.”

Tickets for the tribute, which will be catered by Renell’s Café and Catering, are $15 per person and may be purchased online. To purchase them in person, please contact Erin Harvey.