The life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize recipient -- will be recognized in January with several events sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Planning Committee and the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.
Activities include a parade, a prayer service, an evening banquet, a breakfast followed by educational displays and a march, a panel discussion by community leaders focusing on the 50th anniversary of King’s famed “I Have a Dream” speech, and an awards ceremony honoring unsung heroes.
The MLK Committee’s theme for this year is “Out of a Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope.”
The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Planning Committee has scheduled a parade for Jan. 12 as a kick-off of community events that include awarding scholarships to area college students. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. at Garrison and 7th St. and the parade route will continue through downtown Fort Smith. Local bands will perform, Miss UAFS will be in attendance and Mrs. Euba Winton will serve as parade marshal. For more information, contact Karen James at 479-461-2470 or Deborah Woodard at 479-561-1349.
The Ministerial Alliance Prayer Service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 16 at First Missionary Baptist Church, 3110 Kelly Hwy. For more information, contact Rev. Jerry Jennings at 479-785-1773.
A 7 p.m. banquet is planned for Jan. 19, complete with speakers, entertainment, and scholarship and citizenship awards. It will be held in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for youth to age 18. For tickets, contact Karen James at 479-461-2470, Bruce Wade at 479-739-7904 or Deborah Woodard at 479-561-1349.
Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m. Jan. 21 in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. A full morning of activities is slated on the UAFS campus, including educational sessions provided by UAFS staff and representatives from the MLK Committee. A march ending at the University’s bell tower will be followed by the opportunity for those attending to return to the Campus Center to view the inauguration of the President of the United States. The public is invited.
A panel comprised of community leaders will discuss King’s contributions to a changing society under the theme of “Unsung Heroes -- Fifty Years of ‘I Have a Dream.’” Participants will include Dr. Paul B. Beran, chancellor at UAFS; Sherry Toliver, executive director of the Fort Smith Community Foundation and president of the Lincoln Alumni Association; Jim Dunn, chief executive officer and president of the U.S. Marshal’s Museum and retired attorney; and Euba Winton, community activist. The American Democracy Project event will be held from 10-11:30 a.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center and will include awards for student “unsung heroes” nominated by UAFS faculty. The public is invited.
Additional information on the UAFS activities Jan. 21 is available from Mark Horn, vice chancellor for university relations, at 788-7006. For more information on the ADP event on Jan. 22, contact Dr. Amy Jordan of Fort Smith, campus coordinator for the ADP, at 479-7295.