Martin Luther King Jr. remembered through events

A new Martin Luther King, Jr.-themed food pantry is seen, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas in Fort Smith. Local artist Jonathan Burchett painted the newspaper stand, which was donated through Engage Arkansas' Civic Engagement Tour and unveiled Monday during a ceremony honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Bente Eriksen, director of the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas, said the pantry will be used to provide perishables after hours when the Literacy Council, which became a certified food bank three months ago, is closed. Eriksen added she plans to host a citywide food drive to collect additional food and supplies to help fill the pantry and meet the demand of the community. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for today's photo gallery.
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)
A new Martin Luther King, Jr.-themed food pantry is seen, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, at the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas in Fort Smith. Local artist Jonathan Burchett painted the newspaper stand, which was donated through Engage Arkansas' Civic Engagement Tour and unveiled Monday during a ceremony honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Bente Eriksen, director of the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas, said the pantry will be used to provide perishables after hours when the Literacy Council, which became a certified food bank three months ago, is closed. Eriksen added she plans to host a citywide food drive to collect additional food and supplies to help fill the pantry and meet the demand of the community. Visit nwaonline.com/photo for today's photo gallery. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Hank Layton)


The Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Council, The River Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission and Latinas en Bici will offer a number of events in the area Jan. 12-15 to honor the life and legacy of the civil rights leader.

Harmony in Hues: Embracing the Beloved Community, is the The Northwest Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Council's 28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Jan. 12

Beloved Community Festival: A Tribute to Unity and Culture -- Co-hosted with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and sponsored by Walmart|Sam's Club, the festival will feature a cultural tapestry of food, music and art representing the diversity of Northwest Arkansas, 6-10 p.m., Crystal Bridges Museum, 600 Museum Way in Bentonville. Registration is free at eventbrite.com/e/the-beloved-community-festival-tickets-781067563107?aff=oddtdtcreator.

Jan. 13

Clothing Drive and Community Service Project -- Co-sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, donations will be accepted and sorted 9 a.m.-noon, John L Colbert Middle School, 888 S. Rupple Road, Fayetteville, and at the Historic St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 764 W. North St., Fayetteville. Information: [email protected].

Recommitment Celebration -- Featuring speaker Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project and a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, a community reception will take place from 3:30-4:30 p.m., then the Recommitment Celebration begins at 5 p.m. at the Fayetteville Public Library.

Salute to Greatness Awards will be presented to individuals and an organization in the Northwest Arkansas community that exemplify excellence in leadership and have a demonstrated commitment to social responsibility in the spirit and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Attire is semi-formal. Sponsorships are available at nwamlk.org/sponsorships.

"UNITY -- It Starts with Me" -- An awards banquet will take place with guest speaker Judge Wendell Griffen at 6 p.m. in the Reynolds Room at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Information: The River Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, 479-651-8975.

Jan. 14

MLK Memorial Program -- Featuring speaker Tim Cooper, Walmart senior vice president, supply chain. 3 p.m., Historic St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

Annual Ecumenical Celebratory Service will take place at 6 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, 4916 High St, Fort Smith, AR 72904. Information: The River Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, 479-651-8975.

Family Fun Day -- Face painting, music and free food will be available at Treehouse Pantry located at 802 West Allen Ave. Springdale from noon to 3 p.m. as a part of Springdale's 7th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Information: Alice Gachuzo-Colin, 479-353-7994.

Jan. 15

28th Annual MLK Dreamkeepers Breakfast -- This program hosted by NWA MLK Dreamkeeper Youth organization will take place at 8 a.m. at the Jennelle Y. Hembree Alumni House 491 N. Razorback Road, Fayetteville. Featured speaker is Syree Diaz, MLK Dreamkeeper president. A free catered breakfast will be served. All youth are encouraged to attend. Registration is not required, but seating is limited.

Information: nwamlk.org/mlk-dreamkeepers-breakfast.

MLK Dreamkeepers UofA Intercollegiate Athlete Activity

Join the NWA MLK Dreamkeepers immediately following the Dreamkeepers breakfast at approximately 9:45 a.m. at the University of Arkansas HPER building 155 Stadium Dr. Fayetteville for a fun and engaging time with athletes and cheerleaders from University of Arkansas athletics. Open for all youth, no registration required.

Information: nwamlk.org/mlk-dreamkeepers-uofa-intercollegiate-athlete-engagement.

NWA MLK Freedom March -- The March begins at 11 a.m. and take place at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Razorback Rd. in Fayetteville. All participants are encouraged to park and meet in Lot 56 on the University of Arkansas campus.

The march route is on Razorback Road to Stadium Drive and finally to Faulkner Performing Arts Center for their University of Arkansas Association of Student Government's Noon Day Vigil (participation in the march is not a guarantee of seating at Faulkner Performing Arts Center.)

Community and organizations are encouraged to march. Organizations are encouraged to register to confirm attendance at nwamlk.org/nwa-mlk-freedom-march.

Information: (479) 409-1139 or [email protected].

University of Arkansas Vigil -- Join the University of Arkansas Association of Student Government for their noon day vigil at Faulkner Performing Arts Center, 453 Garland Ave. Fayetteville, AR 72701. The special guest speaker is LaTosha Brown, an American community organizer, political strategist and consultant. She is the co-founder of the voting rights group Black Voters Matter.

Information: (479) 409-1139 or [email protected].

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast -- Featuring speaker Dr. Najja Baptist, a professor of political science at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville, will take place at 7 a.m. in the Reynolds Room at the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity in Action Parade will take place at 11 a.m.

Information: The River Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, 479-651-8975.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity in Action Parade -- will begin at 11 a.m. in downtown Fort Smith.

Expanding on the traditional community march, a full parade will take place on Garrison Avenue following the breakfast. The parade will begin at 7th Street and Garrison Avenue in Downtown Fort Smith.

Sign ups for the parade are still open. Those interested in marching or bringing a float may register at: bit.ly/MLKparade24. Registered participants will line up at 9:30 a.m.

Information: The River Valley Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission, 479-651-8975.

Unity March -- The Unity March will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Jones Center for Families and end at the Shiloh Square on Emma Avenue, where Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse will issue a proclamation. Cake will be served.

Information: Alice Gachuzo-Colin, 479-353-7994.

  photo  Arkansas Military and First Responders Academy students help load boxes of food into vehicles Wednesday during the Arkansas Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission's Pre-Veteran's Day Food Giveaway at the commission's headquarters in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staci Vandagriff)
 
 


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