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In 2016, Carolina K-12 began a partnership with the North Caroliniana Society, a private nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of increased knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina’s heritage. Committed to supporting our state’s K-12 teachers, the Society developed the William Friday Teacher Education Initiative, with the goal of equally educating and appreciating our state’s hard working educators through free, quality professional development events. In partnership with Carolina K-12 and UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library, the first annual William Friday Teacher’s Institute was held in July 2016, and will be followed by additional events throughout each year.

The 2016 William Friday Teacher’s Institute | Carolina Voices: Exploring the Diverse History & Heritage of the Tar Heel State | July 17-19, 2016


Participants in the first annual Friday Institute represented 21 of NC’s counties.

Generously sponsored by the North Caroliniana Society, the first annual William Friday Teacher’s Institute, Carolina Voices: Exploring the Diverse History & Heritage of the Tar Heel State, was hosted at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library on July 17-19, 2016.

This unique three-day event explored the diverse tapestry, distinctive people & events, and rich heritage of North Carolina. From learning about the ways enslaved people resisted oppression and sought freedom throughout the state, to exploring the dramatic history of textile mills and labor strikes in rural North Carolina towns, to learning how the state’s unique dialects tell the story of our varied histories, teachers enjoyed an intellectual tour of North Carolina’s most captivating events and resilient people.

Mary Williams performs “From Slavery to Civil Rights: An Aural History Tour

This dynamic event integrated:

  • Presentations on various compelling topics from North Carolina and American history from engaging scholars and authors from area universities
  • Performances from North Carolina artists, such as gospel singer Mary D. Williams and bluegrass musician Tommy Edwards
  • Primary sources and online resources from UNC-Chapel Hill Libraries, such as Wilson Library’s North Carolina Collection and the Southern Oral History Program
  • Pedagogical exploration of coordinating lesson plans and teaching strategies.           


To learn more about the North Caroliniana Society, visit their website by clicking here. To learn about upcoming William Friday Teacher Education Initiatives, funded by the Society, visit our Upcoming Trainings page or contact Christie Norris at