Tamika D. Mallory, Women’s March National Co-President, to Be Keynote Speaker for UNC Asheville’s Martin Luther King Jr. Week 2019

December 18, 2018
Tamika D. Mallory, national co-president of the Women’s March

Tamika D. Mallory, national co-president of the Women’s March, will deliver the keynote address for UNC Asheville’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week. The keynote talk is the highlight of a week focusing on King’s moral legacy, including a day of community service, and activities and workshops for students on contemporary issues and civil rights history.

Mallory’s talk is free and open to everyone, with no tickets required, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019, in UNC Asheville’s Lipinsky Auditorium. The doors will open at 6 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served.

The first Women’s March in January 2017 drew an estimated 5 million participants worldwide, with 500,000 people marching in Washington D.C. and an estimated 7,000-10,000 in downtown Asheville. The Women’s March is planning more marches on the weekend of Jan. 19, 2019, and Mallory’s role as the national organization’s co-president continues.

Mallory describes her approach this way: “My fellow Women’s March leaders believe that we can be the bridge to connect different groups in the name of our shared liberation. We don’t just step into difficult spaces, we create new ones. I am guided by the loving principles of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., though I have fallen short of them at times. And it is with the belief that ‘non-violence seeks to win friendship and understanding’ and ‘non-violence seeks to defeat injustice, not people’ that we organized a march on January 21, 2017, that 5 million people participated in worldwide; and we have been guided by those values the whole way through.”

Mallory is a leader in community-based efforts to stop gun violence in her native New York City, and was instrumental in creating the NYC Crisis Management System, an official gun anti-violence prevention program that she co-chaired. She also worked closely with the Obama Administration on gun control policy. She has been personally touched by gun violence – the father of her son was murdered in 2001.

In prior roles, Mallory served as a national organizer for the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington in 2013, which drew 300,000 people, and the 2015 event, Justice or Else!, also in Washington D.C., where she spoke to an audience of 700,000.

Mallory’s activism began at the age of 11, when she joined Al Sharpton’s National Action Network (NAN), of which her parents were founding members. She went on to become the group’s youngest executive director, and although she is still an active NAN supporter, she left her staff position in 2013. In addition to her work with the Women’s March, she founded Mallory Consulting, a strategic planning firm in New York City.

For more information, contact UNC’s Asheville Events & Conferences Office at 828.251.6853.

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