Alphas Hold 25th Anniversary King Observance 

The men of Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in Kansas City held their 25th Anniversary King Observance on Jan. 14 at Metropolitan Community College Penn Valley Campus. Kansas native and University of Kansas Professor Kevin Willmott was the keynote speaker at the free scholarship brunch. Willmott delivered an informative speech based on his research of young Martin Luther King Jr. for writing the play “Becoming Martin.”

KCK Celebrates 43rd Annual Citywide King Celebration  

Residents and supporters gathered at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, KS, on the King Holiday for the city’s 43rd Annual Citywide King Celebration. This year, the event was held at Memorial Hall in downtown KCK. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Dr. William H. Curtis, Pastor of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA. Other event highlights included great selections from the MLK Choir and from students at the V. Lindsay Seventh Day Adventist School. The event ended with the award of more than a dozen C.E. Taylor Educational Scholarship Awards.  

Living the Dream Banquet Highlights Topeka’s King Activities 

The capacity crowd at the annual Topeka Living the Dream King Banquet reflected the popularity of this event that highlights a full week of King Holiday events. The banquet, held Saturday evening, Jan. 14, at the Holiday Inn was sponsored by Capitol Federal and included the presentation of Living the Dream’s Annual Awards and Scholarship to nearly 20 area high school students. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Markel Hutchins from Atlanta. Hutchins is the visionary behind the National Faith & Blue Weekend observed in cities across the country. 

Some of the other King events held during the week included: a food drive, Education Outreach Day, communitywide worship service, a Day-of-Service Project, and a closing chili-and-soup dinner.   

Kansas Governor’s King Observance & March Braves the Cold 

Political, religious and civic leaders marched around the Kansas Statehouse, led by a marching band featuring students from Highland Park, Topeka High and Topeka West. The event, which serves as a kickoff for the state’s King Holiday observance, was held Jan. 12.  

This year, the observance was absent from the governor, since Gov. Laura Kelly had been diagnosed with COVID. Instead Senate members Oletha Faust-Goudeau (D-Wichita) and David Haley (D – KCK) led the march. The program held inside the capitol was led by Stacey Knoell, executive director of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission. The keynote address was delivered by Angela Bates, founder of the Nicodemus (Kansas) Historical Society.

Wichita Celebrates King Holiday With A Full Weekend of Activities

A weekend full of King-related activities in Wichita kicked off Friday evening, Jan. 13, with a program sponsored by the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity held at Calvary Baptist
Church. The keynote speaker was Dr. Kevin Harrison, WSU assistant professor and Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
On Saturday, Jan. 14, a march was held along Broadway from the Christian Faith Center, 1130 S. Broadway, to Chester I. Lewis Park downtown.
On Monday, Jan. 16, the holiday observance began with the Heroes and Sheroes Breakfast sponsored by the spiritual ensemble ARISE at the Rhatigan Student Center, Wichita State
The King Daring the Dream Celebration was held at the WSU Metroplex and featured a keynote presentation by journalist, commentator and author Roland Martin. Award recipients were: President’s Awards to Senator Oletha Faust Goudeau, Dr. Marche’ Fleming-Randle and Pastor Lincoln E Montgomery (posthumous); Spirit of Unity Award to Prisca Barnes; Vision & Dreams Award to Kevin Andrews & The Agape Group, Inc.
“Save me all your (King) quotes in your posts – if your agenda in your daily job does not line up with MLK’s agenda, don’t waste my time,” Martin said.
Before his mic-drop and walk off the stage to a crowd of applause, Martin left the building with a few thoughts.
“If you come here next year, and you look back and you did nothing, then you are the actual problem,” Martin said. “The only way this thing changes is when people stand up and get
involved and do something.”