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Alumni Foundation | MLK | University News

2022 MLK Celebration, ‘Living the Dream: Live and in Color’ Events Announced

By Jeff Murphy, January 7, 2022

mlk-freedom-scholarship-fundraiser-graphicThe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser to benefit UCM students is just one of several activities planned in January to celebrate King's life. 

WARRENSBURG, MO – With the 2022 theme, “Living the Dream: Live and in Color,” the University of Central Missouri in January will host a variety of special events on campus and in cooperation with local organizations to honor the legacy of civil rights leader and humanitarian  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser, Community Praise and Worship Service, and the annual Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce Community Service Awards Luncheon are among these special events. This is in addition to other opportunities at UCM’s Warrensburg and Lee’s Summit campuses.

For more than three decades, UCM has conducted activities specifically designed to bring the campus and community together to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. These events also provide opportunities to recognize outstanding students and other individuals who are making a difference in their community. 
Included among the 2022 special events are the Community Service Awards, co-sponsored by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce. This event is planned for Wednesday, Jan. 12 to honor recipients who have performed outstanding community service as high school students and as community residents. The event is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Legion Post 131, 735 E. Young St., Warrensburg, and will feature remarks by Willie Arthur Taylor, a United States Air Force veteran, entrepreneur and owner of All-Starz Barbershop. Tickets are required. For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at or 660-747-3168.

The Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser “Living the Dream: Live and in Color” is planned for Tuesday, Jan. 18 at the ballrooms of the Elliott Student Union. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the event begins at 6:30 p.m.  A VIP sponsor reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity. This is an
opportunity to enjoy vocal and dance performances from UCM and community members, hear from the Freedom Scholarship winners, view works of art by local students who were inspired by King’s message, and support future scholarships for deserving UCM undergraduate students. It includes heavy hors d’oeuvres with hightop tables, VIP seating for sponsors, and limited unreserved table seating. Tickets can be obtained online through the UCM Alumni Foundation.  They also can be acquired in-person (cash or check) at the UCM Office of Student Experience and Engagement, Administration 214, or at the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, 100 S. Holden St.

Students, faculty and staff at UCM-Lee’s Summit, located at the Missouri Innovation Campus, have two special events planned on Friday, Jan. 21. The Day of Service from 1 to 5 p.m. offers volunteers an opportunity to make dog toys for distribution to local animal shelters. Individuals who want to know more or who would like to register to participate are asked to contact Rick Smetana, site operations manager at UCM-Lee’s Summit, at

Also at UCM-Lee’s Summit, the MLK Celebration featuring keynote speaker Manny Abarca, a UCM alumnus from Kansas City, will take place at 6 p,m. Members of the Lee’s Summit community and other interested individuals are invited to join in this celebration, which includes the “Living the Dream: Live and in Color Faculty Award” and the  ”Living the Dream: Live and in Color Student Award.” 

Other MLK activities planned this month are the Community Praise and Worship Service at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 17 at the UCM Alumni Memorial Chapel; virtual “Let’s Talk” with the topic “Dear White People: How to Be a Better Ally” from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 18; the Volunteer Fair from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 19 in Elliott Student Union atrium; Day of Service, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 20 in the Elliott Student Union ballrooms; and  the Community Service Blood Drive, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Jan. 25-26  in the Elliott Student Union ballrooms. Appointments are preferred for those who plan to participate in the blood drive; walk-ins will be accepted as time and available staff allow. Register at

Dr. King was born on Jan. 15, 1929, and since 1986 the nation has officially observed the third Monday of January as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is a federal holiday. He rose to national prominence through the organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference promoting non-violent tactics such as the massive march on Washington, D.C., to protest lack of civil rights in 1963. In 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed, authorizing the federal government to enforce desegregation of public accommodations and outlawing discrimination in publicly owned facilities, as well as employment. The recipient of a Nobel Prize for Peace, Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, at age 38.

Individuals who want to know more about the MLK Celebration are encouraged to call Dr. Lover Chancler, director of Multiculturalism and Inclusivity, at 660-543-8049 or email


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