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MLK Celebration 2024-2025

Living the Dream: Bringing Unity to the Community

The University of Central Missouri's MLK Celebration is an opportunity for our community to pause and reflect on the work and impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., while recommitting to the goal of showing respect and dignity toward one another.


image of Dr. King

The MLK Celebration is only possible through the generous donations and sponsorships of the community. Funds raised at our Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser in November go directly to deserving students, who will be recognized at the Freedom Scholarship Celebration on January 21, 2025.

Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser and Celebration Information


MLK Artists

Call for Artists

The MLK Committee seeks a wide variety of artists and art forms to help us celebrate Dr. King and the year's theme.

Watch this space for more information!

MLK award recipients

Freedom Scholarships

Each year, the UCM Alumni Foundation awards Freedom Scholarships to high school students who are accepted to UCM and/or are returning UCM students. These students are recognized at the annual MLK Freedom Scholarship Banquet in January.  

Click here  to go to the UCM Scholarship Finder page, the online one-stop portal for all UCM Alumni Foundation scholarships, and search for "Freedom Scholarship."

There is always a need for contributions to keep the MLK Freedom Scholarships going! Donate here.

two female military members walking and smiling at each other

Community Service Awards

These awards, co-sponsored by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, honor those in our community who exemplify humanitarianism, leadership, and selfless service.

The Community Service Award is open to any individual in Johnson County, and the High School Community Service Award is open to any student enrolled in high school in Johnson County.

Nomination forms for the 2025 Awards will open in the Fall of 2024.

Past MLK Community Service Award Recipients

MLK 50 image

The MLK50 Pledge: a Call to Peace and Action

April of 2018 marked 50 years since Dr. King's assassination. Click here to take the MLK50 Pledge, and commit to 50 achievable actions that realize Dr. King's legacy of peace.


2024/2025 Calendar of Events


All events are open to the public and most are free to attend - everyone is welcome!


Saturday, November 16, 2024
Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser

6:00 pm
Elliott Student Union Ballrooms
500 S. Holden St, Warrensburg, MO

image for Dr. Martin Luther King with words "what are you doing for others?"

Hosted by the Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity at the University of Central Missouri, the MLK Freedom Scholarship Fundraiser will feature student performances and a silent auction to raise funds for the Martin Luther King Freedom Scholarship, which assists students who are often from underprivileged backgrounds in their pursuit of higher education. Scholarship funds raised through this event will be presented to students at the Freedom Scholarship Banquet in January, 20

Fundraiser Information


Purchase Tickets


Date and Time TBA

Chamber Community Service Awards Luncheon

Hosted by the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce, this annual luncheon honors the recipients of the Community Service and High School Community Service awards.

Sharon Franklin    Claire Thomas  

From the 2024 Luncheon: Sharon Franklin, a long-time volunteer for the Western Missouri Medical Center Auxiliary, received the MLK Community Service Award. Claire Thomas, an exemplary Warrensburg High School student, received the MLK High School Community Service Award. The awards were presented by Joshua Detherage, Chair of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and Dr. Lover Chancler, Director of the UCM Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity. 


Date and Time TBA

Community Praise and Worship Service

photo of the ABC Gospel Choir

Come together for this service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose faith was the foundation of his activism. Enjoy performances from choirs and other groups from throughout the community!

Date and Time TBA

MLK Celebration - Lee's Summit Campus

MLK Celebration in Lee's Summit

Join others in the Lee's Summit community for a celebration that will include faculty and student awards and the presentation of the MLK Art Contest award to a Lee's Summit R-VII student.

Contact Rick Smetana at for more information.


Date and Time TBA
Let's Talk

Hosted by the Center for Multiculturalism and Inclusivity


Date and Time TBA

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Scholarship Banquet

Nikkita and Kaitlyn

Join us to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy of bold action in pursuit of justice, inclusion, and the beloved community. Meet the Freedom Scholarship winners, enjoy vocal and dance performances from UCM and community members, and view works of art by local students inspired by Dr. King’s message.  All funds raised at this event go directly to deserving UCM undergraduate students through the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Scholarship.


Date and Time TBA

Volunteer Fair

word "volunteer" held up by many hands

Visit with a wide variety of our community partners looking for YOU to help fulfill their mission!

Contact Kristie Brinkley at with questions.


Date and Time TBA

Day of Service - Warrensburg Campus

For more information or questions, please contact Kristie Brinkley at


Date and Time TBA

Day of Service - Lee's Summit Campus

students at Lee's Summit MLK service day


Dates and Time TBA

Community Service Blood Drive

MO the Mule giving blood

Give the gift of life! Appointments preferred; walk-ins accepted as time and available staff allow. When information is finalized, registration will be available online. 

Contact Kristie Brinkley at with questions.


Tuesday, January 21, 2025
Freedom Scholarship Celebration

6:00 pm
Sandra Temple Elliott Ballrooms
511 South Holden Street
Warrensburg, MO 64093

Image of table decorations for MLK Celebration

Join us to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy of bold action in pursuit of justice, inclusion, and the beloved community!

Enjoy vocal and dance performances from UCM and community members, view works of art by local students inspired by Dr. King’s message, and see the presentation of the 2025 MLK Freedom Scholarships.

Celebration Information


Purchase Tickets




For more information about UCM's MLK Celebration, please contact Dr. Lover Chancler at 660-543-8049 or


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