KCK Annual MLK Celebration

The Thirty-third Anniversary of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Holiday will be celebrated in Kansas City, Kansas on Monday, January 15th, 2018, at the Reardon Center beginning with pre-service events at 10:45 AM. The Formal program will start promptly at 11 AM. The theme will be, “­Continuing the Dream through Love and Peace in Times Like These."

The featured speaker for this year’s celebration will be Reverend Dr. Calvin O. Butts III of New York City, NY. Dr. Butts serves as Pastor of the nationally renowned Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. ...He was recruited as a youth minister to Abyssinian in 1972. Since being called as senior pastor, he has led a large and influential congregation in Harlem with a history of community leadership. There he founded the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) in 1989, an arm of the church that has contributed to community development of schools and commercial facilities, as well as housing. Dr. Butts is a highly educated, activist minister who remains active in civil rights, social justice, and economic development. Since 1999, Dr. Butts has served as the President of the State University of New York at Old Westbury, where he works continuously to create an invigorating atmosphere dedicated to academic excellence and the development of leadership qualities in students. Dr. Butts serves on numerous local, regional and national Board of Directors and has received more than 1,000 honors and commendations. Dr. Butts earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, his Master of Divinity Degree in Church History from the Union Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry in Church and Public Policy from Drew University.

The Celebration will kick off with a “MOTORCADE FOR HUNGER” which will assemble at 9 a.m. at the Mount Zion Baptist Church parking lot located at 4th & Richmond. The motorcade will depart promptly at 10 a.m. and take a selected route through the community and end at the Jack E. Reardon Civic Center.  Churches, organizations, and individuals are encouraged to bring can goods, decorate their vehicles and participate. Our goal is 5000 can goods. Contributions will be donated to various food kitchens.  

The 2018 goal is to have a 200 voice Mass Choir provide music that invokes memories of the Civil Rights era. For information on Choir Rehearsals dates and times contact Mrs. Alicia Saunders at saundersong@aol.com.  

A highlight of the Celebration includes the announcement of the Rev. C.E. Taylor/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarships to be awarded to 35 graduating high school seniors who have exemplified by deeds their belief in Dr. King’s dream. Over one million dollars have been awarded to deserving students since the inception of the Kansas City, Kansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Celebration.  

The Celebration Committee cordially invites the community to participate in this year’s annual activities. Dr. King’s dream of human dignity must live on, and through this celebration, we hope to reach all faiths, all classes of people to educate, foster, and carry on Dr. King’s philosophies on mankind.