A schedule of events slated in January sponsored by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Association will celebrate the legacy of the legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The activities, which are free and open to the public, include a parade, a prayer service, an awards banquet, a breakfast, educational sessions and a symbolic march.
Celebratory events are:
Jan. 10: A parade hosted by the MLK Community Association will occur at 1 p.m. to kick-off community events. The parade will take place at the corner of 7th and Garrison Ave., and participants will begin gathering at 12 p.m. The parade will move through downtown Fort Smith, and local high school bands will perform. For more information, contact Bruce Wade 479-739-7904 or Deborah Woodard 479-561-1349.
Jan. 14: The Ministerial Alliance Prayer Service will be held at 6:30 p.m. at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, 4503 Young St. For more information, contact Rev. Mack Jackson 479-285-9637.
Jan. 15: The Unsung Heroes Program sponsored by the UAFS chapter of the American Democracy Project will take place from 4-5 p.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. The event’s theme is “A Night of Service,” and nonprofit organizations attending the event will be recognized. For more information, contact Dr. Elizabeth Underwood, executive director of government and community relations, at 479-788-7008 or visit https://community.uafs.edu/adp/american-democracy-project.
Jan. 17: An Awards and Recognition Banquet, which includes the awarding of scholarships and citizen awards, will be held in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, with reserved tables available for $350. Tickets are available by contacting Bruce Wade at 479-739-7904.
Jan. 19: A breakfast will be held at 7:30 a.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center, and it is free and open to the public. Following breakfast, community members can participate in a morning of events, including educational sessions provided by UAFS faculty and representatives from the MLK Community Association. A symbolic march will begin at approximately 9:45 a.m. and move from the Campus Center to the Bell Tower, where a brief ceremony will take place. For more information, contact Susan Devero, events coordinator, at 479-788-7529.
Jan. 19: The Annual Ecumenical Service will be held at 7 p.m. at First Missionary Baptist Church, 3110 Kelley Hwy. For more information, contact Bruce Wade at 479-739-7904.
This is the fourth year for UAFS and the MLK Community Association, formerly the MLK Holiday Planning Committee, to join forces to honor and celebrate King.
In October 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, slated this year for Jan. 19, was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.