Despite the usually cold, and often snowy weather, annual Martin Luther King Holiday celebrations in Kansas and the Kansas City have historically been the largest celebrations in the region. Drawn by King’s message of equality and non-violence, individuals of all races, religions and ages come together for one or more King Holiday celebrations.

This year, the spirit of the King Holiday will live on, but sadly missing will be the shared in-person commemorations where we raise our voices together in song and end our evenings holding our neighbors’ hands and swaying in solidarity to familiar freedom songs.

King Holiday planners have worked hard to put together interesting, entertaining and informative holiday events for our communities to enjoy. The good news: While the number of events may be few, thanks to our virtual world, everyone has the opportunity to participate across the state, the country and even the world.

Here are some events in our readership area that you might enjoy.


Fri., Jan. 15, – 7:06 p.m.

7th Annual MLK Celebration Sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eta Beta Lambda Chapter

Moderator: Joseph Shepard

Panelists, KS Reps KC Ohaebosim and Gail Finney and KS Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau and Pastor Jermaine Pennington

Mon, Jan. 18, NOON

Virtual Worship Celebration Sponsored by the Greater Wichita Ministerial League

Featuring Evangelist Dorinda Clark-Cole, Host, Rev. C. Richard Kirkendoll


Mon. Jan. 18, 5:30 p.m.

17th Annual MLK Legacy and Scholarship Virtual Awards Dinner

Sponsored by: The Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy and Scholarship Awards Committee

Honoring Paul Lyons, Overland Park City Council and Student Scholarship Winners

RSVP to (you will receive a link to the virtual event).

Individuals and organizations who purchased tables and tickets in the past are encouraged to pay $40 per person and $400 per table.


Sun., Jan. 10, 2 p.m.

2021 Greater Kansas City MLK Interfaith Service Greater Kansas CityMusic by: Tim Whitmer, Millie Edwards, Ah’Lee Robinson, KC Boys Choir/KC Girls Choir, Hazzan Tahl Ben-Yehuda & Friends

Guest Speaker:

Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon, Exec. Minister of Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ

Rabbi Michael Zedek, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple B’nai Jehuda (KCMO) & Congregation Emmanuel, Chicago

2021 Evelyn Wasserstrom Awards Receipients: Jim Nunnelly and Tara Raghuveer

Mon., Jan. 18 5:30 p.m.

Good Trouble at the Ballot: The Resilience of Black Voting Power”

Zoom Call, registration required. To register go to: or

Sponsored by: SCLC Greater Kansas

Moderator: Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver II (D-Missouri)

Panelists: Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) and Rep. Dwight Evans (D-Penn.) who all represent congressional districts that helped turn the November election.

The celebration will end with an awards ceremony honoring those in Kansas City who have made significant contributions toward the continued advancement of justice.


Tues., Jan. 19, 9:30 a.m.

15th Annual MLK Community Celebration

Watch Live Stream @

Sponsored by: Johnson County NAACP & MidAmerica Nazarene University

Martin Luther King Jr. Living Legacy Award Recipient – Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent Topeka Public Schools


Mon., Jan. 18, 11 a.m.

KCK Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

This abbreviated program of this long-running annual event will include greetings by Mayor David Alvey, history and purpose of the event by the Rev. Tony Carter, music, words of encouragement by District Atty. Mark Dupree Sr. and the awarding of 25 scholarships to deserving high school seniors. Donations to the organizations scholarship fund can be made to the Greater Kansas City Foundation at


Mon., Jan. 18, Noon

St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church MLK Program Johns Missionary Baptist Church

Details of the program have not been finalized.

Mon., Jan 18, 7 p.m.

Martin Luther King Holiday Celebration

Sponsored by Multicultural Student Affairs Association, Kansas Wesleyan University

This program includes music and dance, plus music by the St. John’s MBC Choir. The keynote presenter will be

Rev. Dr. Allen D. Smith, Director of Diversity for KWU and Pastor of St. John’s MBC.



Annual Living the Dream Celebration events.

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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