With the theme, “From Dream to Reality: the March Continues,” the University of Central Missouri will celebrate the work and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a series of events planned for January 2020.

While honoring King’s legacy, the university will recommit to its goal of creating a campus environment that promotes respect and dignity for all individuals.

Activities include the Freedom Scholarship Dinner, the Community Service Awards Luncheon in cooperation with the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce, Day of Service, Community Praise and Worship Service, Volunteer Fair, blood drive, displays of student art work, and more. All events are open to the public, and with the exception of the Scholarship Dinner and Community Service Awards Luncheon, all activities are free of charge.

The annual MLK Freedom Scholarship Dinner, which raises money to support scholarships for UCM students, is a highlight to the annual celebration. The dinner takes place at 6:30 p.m, Tuesday, Jan. 21, in the ballroom of the Elliott Student Union. It will feature guest speaker Toriano Porter, a UCM alumnus who is an author and journalist with The Kansas City Star. The event will include recognition of ML.

Scholarship recipients, all of whom are either graduating high school students who plan to attend UCM or students planning to return to the university. Tickets can be obtained at the UCM Office of Student Experience and Engagement, Administration Building 214, or at the Chamber of Commerce office, 100 S. Holden St., Warrensburg.

The MLK celebration includes an opportunity to involve local K-12 students through an art and essay contest. Top entries from elementary, middle and high school students will be displayed at the Freedom Scholarship Dinner. All other entries will be available for viewing mid-January through February at the Warrensburg Community Center.

The MLK Service Awards Luncheon with the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce is planned for 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Taqueria Havbana, 121 E. Pine Street.

This is an opportunity to honor both a Johnson County high school student and an area resident who have exhibited qualities of humanitarianism, leadership or service to the community or to a group of individuals. Tickets are required, and individuals who plan to attend should RSVP to the Chamber by Jan. 8 at 660-747-3168.

Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 15-16, the Community Service Blood Drive will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the ballroom of the Elliott Student Union. To learn more visit the Community Blood Center website at savealife.org.

While the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday is on Monday, Jan. 20, it will be a day of volunteerism on campus and throughout the Warrensburg community for many university students. The MLK Day of Service is being coordinated by UCM Volunteer Services. Individuals who want to know more should contact Kristie Brinkley at kbrinkley@ucmo.edu or Ricardo Samora at rzamora@ucmo.edu.

Also on Monday, the campus and community comes together to enjoy an inspirational evening of music during the Community Praise and Worship Service. The event takes place in the Alumni Memorial Chapel at 6:30 p.m,

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Let’s Talk: Issues Discussion will take place in the Union, providing an opportunity for individuals to share their thoughts on a variety of topics thyat are in the spirit of the MLK celebration.

MLK activities continue Wednesday, Jan. 22 with the Volunteer Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Elliott Student Union atrium. This is an opportunity for students to stop by and visit with many community partners and learn more about how to volunteer and help others.

With a number of UCM students and alumni living in the Kansas City area, the university is planning a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Missouri Innovation Campus in Lee’s Summit to commemorate the MLK observance.

To learn more about the MLK celebration, contact Dr. Lover Chancler at 660-543-8049 or email chancler@ucmo.edu.

More From AM 1050 KSIS