Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration - Jan. 22
A Purpose Greater Than Myself
Olatheans and residents throughout the Greater Kansas City area are invited to join the Olathe Human Relations Commission (OHRC) to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., Sunday, Jan. 22, from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Olathe Conference Center by Embassy Suites (K-10 and Ridgeview Rd.). The event is free and open to the public.
This year’s MLK Celebration features essay, visual arts, and multi-media awards for local students. More than 4,225 students submitted entries, representing nine Olathe middle schools and four high schools. All contest winners will receive cash prizes. Select students will read personal essays exploring the event theme and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, “A Purpose Greater Than Myself.”
An inspirational ensemble featuring local students and community members will also perform thoughtful and uplifting selections. Entries will be on display for public viewing at the event. Following the celebration, entries will be on display at the Olathe Downtown Library through the end of January. The event will also mark the debut of OHRC’s MLK Celebration Choir, comprised of Olathe Public Schools high school students and community members.
Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) will deliver the keynote address. Kendrick has become one of the leading authorities on the topic of Negro Leagues Baseball history and its connection to issues relating to sports, race and diversity. He has been a contributing writer for “Ebony Magazine” and the national Urban League’s “Opportunity Magazine.” Kendrick has been honored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and the Black Achievers Society for his community service. In 2006, the Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Mary Lona Diversity Award and he was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Omicron Xi Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. In 2009, The Kansas City Globe named Kendrick to the papers’ list of “100 Most Influential African-Americans in Greater Kansas City.”
Olathe’s MLK Celebration has grown over the last 17 years to become one of Olathe’s most acclaimed events, celebrating and embracing diversity in our community and schools. The MLK Celebration encourages Olathe students of all ages to promote purpose-driven service, a society free of bullying, discrimination, and maltreatment of others based on race, gender, or religious beliefs. The goal of the Olathe Human Relations Commission’s annual celebration is to increase positive awareness, foster greater understanding and embrace the diverse populations that make up the fabric of our community.
OHRC’s Martin Luther King Celebration is sponsored by Bott Radio Network, Robert Brogden Buick GMC, Olathe Ford Lincoln, Enterprise Bank, Grantham University, and Harlan C. Parker and Jason S. Parker – State Farm, in partnership with the City of Olathe, Olathe Public Library, and Olathe Public Schools.