The University of Central Missouri's Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration happens each year in January.  UCM, Whiteman, Sedalia, Kansas City and Warrensburg communities pause to reflect on the work and impact of Dr. King, while renewing goals of respect and dignity toward one another. The speaker this year will be labor economist, author and commentator Julianne Malveaux.  It's planned for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014. The event is the highlight of the university’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

Malveaux is recognized for her progressive and insightful observations of the impact of race, culture and gender on the economy. She earned a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as the 15th president of Bennett College, Greensboro, N.C., America’s oldest historically black college for women, for five years. She is well-versed in today’s economic issues and offers analysis of such events as “the great recession” and their impact on the minority community and public policy.

I got to talk with one of the organizers of the event, Eugene Stillman. He is the Student Advocate in the Office of Mentoring, Advocacy and Study Support, and he has been involved with the MLK celebration committee here since it began. He told us all about the historical perspective on the event and how it's still relevant today.

Additional events for the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration include the Ecumenical Worship Service and Gospel Concert, the Issues Forum and the Greater Warrensburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center Community Service Award luncheon.  Tickets for the Freedom Scholarship Dinner will be available now.

The Freedom Scholarship Dinner has funded 185 scholarships totaling more than $169,000 since its inception in 1998. For more information on the UCM 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration, visit the UCM website.

Scholarship-ily yours,