How to take part in Wichita’s MLK Day ceremonies

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Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 – 1968) addresses a rally at a church in Birmingham, Alabama, 14th October 1963. (Photo by Frank Rockstroh/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — As the nation prepares to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Wichita churches and organizations are offering several events to mark the day.

The federal holiday is celebrated on the third Monday of January. The date was chosen because it is near King’s birthday of Jan. 15. The slain civil rights leader would have been 93 this year.

The federal holiday is also called the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. It is the only federal holiday designated by Congress as a national day of service: “A day on, not a day off.”

First, these are the City of Wichita locations closed Monday, Jan. 17: City Hall, neighborhood resource centers, transit administrative offices, Wichita Public Library locations, park & recreation centers, Century II administrative offices, Wichita TIX box office, Botanica, Wichita Art Museum, Great Plains Nature Center, environmental health office and WATER Center. There will also be no Wichita Transit or Paratransit service.

Also, Sedgwick County offices will be closed Monday. That includes the Sedgwick County Health Department community vaccine clinic and testing site.

The Kansas Judicial Branch said courts will be closed, too.

Some of the events honoring King are on Monday, but others are on different days around the holiday:

Thursday, Jan. 13 — The Kansas African American presented MLK 2022: Portrait of a Man, A Virtual Conversation with Dr. David Williams. Click here to learn more about the museum or click here to watch videos through the TKAAM Online Engagement Center.

Saturday, Jan. 15 — Daring to Dream: Wichita’s Martin Luther King Parade and Celebration. 10 a.m., Naftzger Park, 601 E. Douglas. Speakers include Wichita Mayor Brandon Whipple, City Council Member Brandon Johnson, Dr. Kevin Harrison, Bishop Wade Moore Jr., former Wichita City Council Member Lavonta Williams, and other community leaders.

Monday, Jan. 17ARISE MLK Heroes & Sheroes/Scholarship Breakfast. 7:30 a.m., Beggs Ballroom in the WSU Rhatigan Student Center. Tickets are $30 a person. Tables for eight range from $400 to $1,500. The proceeds support scholarships. The event will honor Eugene Anderson, Alexandra Broadon, Larry Burks, Josiah Garth, Aron Randle, and the late Kansas State Senator UL “Rip” Gooch.

Monday, Jan. 17 — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Virtual Worship Celebration. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, this service will be online at noon. Click on The Greater Wichita Ministerial League Facebook page. The ceremony will feature Dr. Leroy E. Adams of San Francisco and the TGWML community choir.

Monday, Jan. 17 — The Kansas African American Affairs Commission will stream a replay of the Governor’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. March and Proclamation Signing. The event was Thursday, Jan. 13, at the Kansas State Capitol. Click here at noon Monday to watch the full program streamed on the KAAAC Facebook page.

Monday, Jan. 17 — Legacy: The Glory and Grief of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – The Aftermath. The Rev. Dr. Broderick Huggins, senior pastor at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Wichita will hold this virtual event at 3 p.m. He plans to focus on dealing with grief and loss, especially as many have lost loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to watch it online.

Monday, Jan. 17MLK Day Habitat for Humanity Build at Century II. This event was canceled due to a surge in coronavirus cases.

Tuesday, Jan. 2514th Annual MLK Commemoration Building Bridges. 6:30 p.m. This is an online event memorializing King’s accomplishments and legacy. Click here to register. After you register, you will be sent a link to watch the ceremony virtually. During the ceremony, the WSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion will present the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award.

If you know of any other events honoring King, please let KSN know. Click here to submit the information.

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