Journalist and activist Beatrice Thompson will join the University community to celebrate the life, work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Jan. 21 at 3:30 PM in Cone University Center’s McKnight Hall.
The program, entitled "Past, Present and Future: Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.", is sponsored by the Multicultural Resource Center. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Lucas Room.
Beatrice Thompson is a well-known Charlotte native with more than three decades of experience in television, radio and public relations. In 1980, she became the first African-American female to anchor a newscast in Charlotte with WBTV Channel 3. She also served as corporate spokesperson for Duke Energy and reporter/newscaster for local NBC-affiliate WCNC.
Currently, Thompson is the news and public affairs director for two CBS radio stations, WBAV 101.9 FM and WPEG Power98 FM. She anchors the top-rated daily news show "Straight Talk with Bea Thompson" and hosts the television talk show "Queen City Limits" with the City of Charlotte.
"We are excited to bring Ms. Thompson to UNC Charlotte at a time when the country is celebrating the 50th anniversary of many civil rights milestones," said Regena Brown, Assistant Director with the Multicultural Resource Center. "As a witness of Charlotte’s transformation in the aftermath of the civil rights movement, she brings a unique perspective of our past and future from the standpoint of a native Charlottean, an accomplished African American broadcast professional and local community activist."
The United Negro College Fund recognized Thompson in 2008 with the distinguished Maya Angelou "Women Who Lead" Award. Since then, Thompson has also received the Vision Award from the Community Blood Center of the Carolina, the Second Harvest Food Bank Media Award, Pride Magazine’s "51 Most Powerful Women", a State of North Carolina "Certificate of Appreciate" from former governor Beverly Perdue, and was inducted into the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women’s History Hall of Fame in 2012.