Lawrence community to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with several events

photo by: AP File Photo

In this AP photo from 1960, Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta.

Groups around Lawrence will gather next week in celebration of a man whose powerful words, voice and dream still resonate as strongly today as they did decades ago.

Community events are scheduled to begin bright and early Monday as the nation observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here are several events in honor of the man and his message.

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• The 12th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast starts at 7:30 a.m. on the annual holiday at Maceli’s Banquet Hall & Catering, 1031 New Hampshire St.

This year’s breakfast features Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo., as its keynote speaker. Singer Vanessa Thomas will provide entertainment at the event, which is hosted by the Ecumenical Fellowship of Lawrence, Kansas Inc. and the Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club. Tickets are $10 per person or $80 for a table.

photo by: AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, file

This AP file photo taken Jan. 28, 2010, shows Bob Kendrick, then marketing director for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, file)

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• The Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., has a number of events planned for Monday to honor King’s legacy.

Storytime with Brenda Nuñez begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Reader’s Theater, followed by a free community lunch at noon. Then BLACK Lawrence — or Black Literature & Arts Collective of Kansas, Lawrence — will host a poetry workshop and activism discussion at 1:30 p.m.

At 3 p.m., the library will host a panel in conjunction with the University of Kansas Office of Diversity & Equity. Charlesia McKinney, KU doctoral student in rhetoric and composition; Joseph Erba, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications; and Randal Jelks, professor of American studies and African-American studies, will participate in a panel discussion: Intersectionality and Social Justice.

photo by: AP Photo

In this AP photo, Martin Luther King Jr. holds up his book, “Why We Can’t Wait.”

Panelists will analyze King’s work “through the lenses of their own unique areas of expertise and focus on the continuation of his legacy by discussing what the fight for civil rights looks like today,” according to the event’s Facebook page.

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• At noon Tuesday, Clarence Lang, interim dean of KU’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, will speak outside of Strong Hall’s main entrance, kicking off the MLK March Across Campus and Musical Celebration.

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

In this Journal-World file photo from Jan. 15, 2018, members of a second-line marching band lead a crowd from Strong Hall to the Kansas Union on the University of Kansas campus, braving bitter cold temperatures to participate in an MLK March Across Campus in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

A “New Orleans-style second line brass band” will lead a parade down Jayhawk Boulevard to the Kansas Union’s fourth floor, where Interim Provost Carl Lejuez will give closing remarks, according to a news release from KU.

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• New York Elementary School will host its annual MLK Chili Feed from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the school, 936 New York St. The school will ask for a free-will donation for the meal, district spokeswoman Julie Boyle said in an email.

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• African-American genealogy research presents special challenges, according to the Lawrence Public Library. African-American Roots, an event from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the library, invites Sherri Camp, a genealogy librarian at Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, to visit and share strategies to discover the stories of African-American ancestors.

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• Lawrence Public Schools’ annual One Dream event returns, this year to Southwest Middle School, 2511 Inverness Drive.

photo by: Journal-World File Photo

In this Journal-World file photo from Jan. 21, 2016, kids check out a Lego representation of St. Luke AME Church before the Lawrence school district’s annual One Dream Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

The event opens at 5:30 p.m. Thursday with gallery displays and activities, featuring Lego displays of historic churches, Unsung Hero trading cards, Native American information displays, student writings and art exhibits, according to a flyer from the district.

The ceremony begins at 6:30 p.m. At that time, the program’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Dreamer’s, Character, Heart of Service and Champion of Equity awards will be distributed to “students, staff, and community members who are making diligent efforts to bring Dr. King’s dreams of equality and social justice to fruition,” Boyle said in an email.

Performers for the evening will include the Lawrence Community Drum Circle and SWMS Theatre, poetry and spoken word by Sunrise Project Youth and more.

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• The final installment of Community Conversations on Race, titled Action Plan for Racial Justice, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Lawrence Public Library.

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• KU’s related events also include its spring common book discussion on “Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work,” by Edwidge Danticat. That is scheduled for 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Spencer Museum of Art, 1301 Mississippi St.

photo by: AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

This Oct. 18, 2010 file photo shows Haitian-American author Edwidge Danticat in the Little Haiti neighborhood of Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Contact Mackenzie Clark

Have a story idea, news or information to share? Contact schools, health and county reporter Mackenzie Clark:

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