MLK 2017The Fort Smith community will come together to celebrate the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. during a series of events held in mid-January.


The events, sponsored by the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Association, include a prayer service, an awards and recognition banquet, an ecumenical service, and a community breakfast. A parade was initially scheduled for Jan. 14 but has since been cancelled.


Celebratory events are:


Jan. 11: The Ministerial Alliance Prayer Service will be held at 7 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, located at 4916 High St. For more information, contact Rev. Mack Jackson at 479-285-9637.


Jan. 14: An awards and recognition banquet, which includes the awarding of scholarships and citizen awards, will be held at 7 p.m in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center located at 800 N. 49th St. The theme for this year’s banquet is “Teamwork Makes Dreams Work.” Tickets are $30, with reserved tables available for $350. Tickets are available by contacting Bruce Wade at 479-739-7904.


Jan. 15: The Annual Ecumenical Service will be held at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, located at 3110 Kelley Highway. For more information, contact Bruce Wade at 479-739-7904.


Jan. 16: An MLK Breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. with a breakfast in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center, and it is free and open to the public. Following the breakfast will be “The Trumpet: A Fort Smith Community Forum,” where citizens, students and leaders can listen to an insightful discussion of relevant topics by a panel of local high school students. For more information, contact Leroy Cox at 479-788-7768 or


The events mark the sixth year UAFS has collaborated with the MLK Community Association to honor and celebrate King.


In October 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolence. He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, slated this year for Jan. 16, was established as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.


About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith


The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit


Date Posted: 
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
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