City of Independence, Missouri

Stage Set for 32nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration

The Community of Concerned Citizens, in partnership with the City of Independence, will present its 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21 at the Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave.

This year’s theme is “Hope draws us into the future; faith sustains us in the present.” This longstanding celebration brings together a wide spectrum of community members and organizations to celebrate the birthday, achievements and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Event committee co-chair Nancy Harris stressed Dr. King’s legacy in encouraging the public to attend. Harris has helped organize the annual event since its inception in 1987.

“Dr. King wasn’t only a public figure,” she said. “He was a man who had a family. He was a religious man. He was non-violent. He promoted peace and love. Those are values that we all should have.”

The keynote speaker for this year’s event is Kansas City-native Cecelia Belser-Patton. In addition to the keynote remarks, the event committee will announce the winner of the John Olivarez High School scholarship, make additional award presentations as well as have performances by several local choirs.

“These 32 years have been a joy to let the city of Independence know about a great man that made contributions to the United States that will always be remembered,” Harris said.