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Freedom Scholarships | University News | Martin Luther King

MLK UCM Events in Warrensburg, Lee’s Summit Celebrate 60-year Milestone in Civil Rights Leader’s Legacy

By Jeff Murphy, December 19, 2022


WARRENSBURG, MO  – An opportunity to engage individuals in a celebration of the life and work of civil rights leader and humanitarian Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  is planned as the University of Central Missouri, UCM-Lee’s Summit, and the local community host a number of events in January honoring King’s legacy.

The theme for the 2023 MLK observance is “Living the Dream and Still Marching,” with the signature event featuring the Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser planned for Tuesday, Jan. 17. This event will take place in the Sandra Temple Elliott Ballroom of the Elliott Student Union, beginning with a sponsor reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by the fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Participants have an opportunity to support Freedom Scholarships for undergraduate students while enjoying vocal and dance performances and works of art created by members of the UCM and local communities. These works are inspired by the 60th anniversary of the freedom march that King led  at Washington, D.C., and are in addition to remarks from the 2022 Freedom Scholarship winners that will be shared during the event. Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, and casual attire is suggested. Organizations wanting to sponsor event tickets or individuals who want to purchase tickets or make a donation in lieu of attendance should visit the event website.

The Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity has issued a Call for Artists that encourages entries in various forms of artistic expression – spoken word, movement, visual arts, music and more – that connect to this year’s theme honoring the anniversary of the march.  Artistic entries will also be available at the MLK Celebration at the Missouri Innovation Campus, 1101 Innovation Parkway, Lee’s Summit, at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. This event features faculty and student award presentations and the presentation of the MLK Art Contest Award to a student enrolled in the Lee’s Summit R-VII School District. Learn more by contacting Rick Smetana, director of UCM Lee-Summit Operations, at

The Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce will present Community Service Awards to individuals who exemplify humanitarianism, leadership and selfless service during a luncheon 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the First United Methodist Church, 141 E. Gay St., in Warrensburg. The program is jointly presented by the Chamber and the UCM Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity, and includes recognition for a local high school student and an area resident who have served the community. To purchase tickets or obtain more information, email the Chamber at or call 660-747-3168. RSVP to the Chamber by Jan. 6, 2023.

The MLK celebration also includes an opportunity to help save lives through the gift of blood. During January National Blood Donor Month, UCM will host a blood drive in cooperation with the Community Blood Center, Sodexo and Delta Zeta sorority from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Thursday, Jan. 12 at the Elliott Student Union ballrooms. Donors will receive free pizza during the event, and there is an opportunity for participants to be entered in a drawing for a prize. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted as time and available staff allow. Register at Contact Kristie Brinkley, assistant director of volunteer services at UCM, at for more information.

From 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15, community members are invited to enjoy an afternoon of music and the expression of faith during the Community Praise and Worship Service. The service will take place at Shiloh Baptist Church, 212 N. Main St., Warrensburg.  

Students who are interested in volunteering their assistance with a number of Warrensburg organizations are encouraged to meet with community partners who need their help to fulfill their missions during the Volunteer Fair, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 at the Elliott Student Union atrium. Anyone who has questions should email

UCM’s Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity will present “March Your Talk: What Does Inclusivity Look Like Today?” on Tuesday, Jan. 17. This free presentation takes place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Elliott Student Union Room 229. Contact Esosa Akele at for more information.
Day of Service events are planned for both the Warrensburg campus and at the Missouri Innovation  in Lee’s Summit. UCM students in Warrensburg will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of service projects to help local and surrounding communities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19. A similar opportunity awaits students at the MIC from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20. Individuals who want to know more about Day of Service activities in Warrensburg should email  For more information about MLK Day of Service in Lee’s Summit, email

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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