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We Shall Overcome: The Music of Protest

March 23 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Featuring UNC historian Don Reid, Singer-Songwriter Dawn Landes, and Vocalist/Educator, Mary D. Williams

We live in an era of divisiveness and heightened emotion, but this is not the first time that citizens have faced such tumult, change, and uncertainty. In the 1960s, many felt the world was falling apart and they turned to music to make sense of it. This seminar will explore popular music of the era and the ways songs became symbols of resistance, resilience, and escape. Join CPH Executive Director Max Owre, along with our special guest musicians and scholars, for a conversation about the sounds of ’60s—including live performances. 


DATE & TIME:  Saturday, March 23, 2024 | 1:00-4:30PM

COST: The tuition is $65 to attend in person or $30 for virtual viewing. Light refreshments will be served.

LOCATION: The Graduate Hotel


*In-Person Registration for this event closes on March 22nd at 3pm**

Register online or by calling 919-962-1544.


UNC Students can attend for free, but pre-registration is required. Discounts are available for multiple-seminar or first-time purchases, members of Carolina Alumni, UNC faculty, & staff. For more information about discounts and registration policies, visit our General Information page, here

Teachers may attend one in-person Weekend Seminar for free tuition (optional meals not included), and any additional in-person seminars for a 50% tuition discount. To apply for free in-person tuition, email Current K-12 teachers interested in receiving a complimentary virtual viewing registration for this seminar can apply here. Teachers receive .3 CEUs post-attendance.

Participants will receive an email with venue and background information about 1 week before the program.


Dawn Landes

Dawn Landes is originally from around Louisville, Kentucky but spent many years living and performing in Brooklyn, New York. As a recording artist she has released several full-length albums, including dawn’s music (2005), Fireproof (2008), Sweetheart Rodeo (2010), Bluebird (2014) and Meet Me At The River (2018) as well as five EPs: Straight Lines (2006), Two Three Four (2006), Mal Habillée (2012), Covers EP (2014) and Desert Songs (2015). She has toured extensively in the US, Europe and around the world, often sharing the stage with artists such as Ray Lamontagne, Feist, Andrew Bird, José González, The Weakerthans, Midlake, Suzanne Vega, and Sufjan Stevens.

On October 2, 2020, Landes released her latest album, ROW, featuring the music from the upcoming musical of the same name, written with book-writer Daniel Goldstein, under commission from New York Voices. The album project began with a Ted Talk Landes presented in 2015 on the musical’s subject, transatlantic rower, Tori Murden McClure.

Her most recent project re-imagines The Liberated Women’s Songbook. First published at the height of the Women’s Liberation Movement Landes’ smart and playful revision of this work leads us through a history of women’s activism, from the early 19th Century through to the peak of Women’s Lib in the 1970’s. She will be performing the Songbook, along with special guest Alice Gerrard, on May 4, 2024 at the PlayMakers Repertory Theater. 

Landes now lives in Chapel Hill.


Mary D. Williams

A performer and historian, Mary D. Williams is a leading voice and authority on the narrative of music and Black southern culture. Recognized as one of the best gospel singers in the country, Ms. Williams believes the music of her ancestors still has the power to bring people together today, as it did during slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. She has performed at hundreds of colleges, universities, public schools, churches, libraries, and other public spaces around North Carolina and the United States, as well as internationally. She has been featured on National Public Radio, and her voice was part of the soundtrack for the Hollywood movie, “Blood Done Sign My Name,” directed by North Carolina’s own Jeb Stuart. Mrs. Williams also teaches a community-based college course, “The South in Black and White: History, Culture and Politics in the 20th Century South,” with her friend and colleague Dr. Timothy Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name. She is also an instructor at Wake Tech and is passionate about working with K-12 educators in particular; in fact, she credits her own middle school teacher for putting her on the path to her career in music today.



March 23
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Graduate Chapel Hill
311 W Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC 27516 United States
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