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Wichita-Area Events Offer Opportunities To Celebrate The Life Of MLK

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There will be several events in and around the Wichita area that will commemorate the life of civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

You can participate in these events beginning this Friday and continuing through Wednesday next week.

4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Program — Friday, Jan. 12, 7 p.m.

Gubernatorial candidate and former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer will be the keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Program. The theme of the event will be “A Birthday Celebration for a King!” The program is sponsored by the Wichita Alumni Chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and will take place at the Calvary Baptist Church located at 2653 N. Hillside.

Christian Faith Centre — Saturday, Jan. 13, 7 a.m.

Kick off a full day of celebrations at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Christian Faith Centre, located at 1130 S. Broadway.

Afterward, a community-wide parade takes place at 10 a.m. It begins in the parking lot of the Christian Faith Centre and winds through historic downtown Wichita. The march will end at the Chester I. Lewis Reflection Square.

The Kansas African American Museum — Saturday, Jan. 13, 10 a.m.

After the breakfast and parade, participants can take part in one of the largest MLK celebrations in the region. A community project will start at 11 a.m. at The Kansas African American Museum (TKAAM) located at 601 N. Water. As part of this year's project, TKAAM will collect non-perishable food items to benefit the Church on the Street —a ministry focused primarily on meeting the mental, physical and spiritual needs of homeless individuals.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the museum will hold an MLK celebration at St. Mark U.M.C. located at 1525 N. Lorraine. The theme for this year is “A Call to Conscience.” The Wiley College Choir will perform and the program will honor Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay, Wichita State University  Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Deltha Colvin, and longtime Wichita activists and mentors David and Lynn Gilkey.

A $3 button is required to take part in each event.

Students will also be able to sign up earlier in the day to audition for the Wiley College Choir. Appointment slots are available from 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Email Education Director Christyn Breathett at christyn.breathett@tkaamuseum.org to sign up.

ARISE's Heroes & Sheroes Awards Breakfast – Monday, Jan. 15, 7:30 a.m.

This celebration aims to honor supporters of arts education and diversity with its Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Heroes & Sheroes Award.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m. with a gala breakfast, and will include entertainment by the ARISE Ensemble.

This year's recipients include The Greater Wichita Ministerial League, St. James Episcopal Church, Wil-Ken Enterprises, Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas and Carl Brewer.

The event will be held at the St. James Episcopal Church, located at 3750 E. Douglas.

Individual tickets are $30 each, and reserved tables start at $400.

Wichita Habitat for Humanity – Monday, Jan. 15, 8 a.m.

Wichita Habitat for Humanity (WHFH) is looking for volunteers ages 10 and up to help construct all of the interior and exterior walls of a five-bedroom house inside the Expo Hall of Century II Performing Arts & Convention Center. The project is a partnership between WHFH, Volunteer Kansas and the City of Wichita.

Participants can sign up to volunteer here.

Greater Wichita Ministerial League — Monday, Jan. 15, 12–2 p.m.

This celebration on the King holiday, hosted by the Greater Wichita Ministerial League, will take place at the WSU MetroPlex located at 5015 E. 29th St. N.

The theme of this year's event is “The Quest For Peace and Justice.” The guest speaker will be Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Pastor Smokie Norful, who leads the Victory Cathedral Worship Center in Bolingbrook, Illinois.

Bethel College — Monday, Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m.

Bethel College will be hosting an MLK event again this year in the Krehbiel Auditorium, located in the Fine Arts Center. This year's topic is titled “(Re)Inspire the Dream.”

Those attending will get a chance to hear a keynote address from peace activist Ken Nwadike Jr., best known as the “Free Hugs Guy.”

The program will also include original and selected poetry on the theme read by Bethel students.

Unity Walk — Wednesday, Jan. 17, 5:30 p.m.  

Wichita State University's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Black Student Union and the Delta Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will be hosting the school's 10th annual Unity Walk on Wednesday, Jan. 17.

The walk will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Red Bud Trail, located at 17th and Oliver, and end at the Experiential Engineering Building on the WSU campus. A program will start promptly at 6 p.m. following the walk.


Follow Hugo Phan on Twitter @Hugo_Phan.

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