FORT SMITH – A slate of community events and educational sessions at the University of Arkansas –Fort Smith comprise the schedule for this year’s celebration of legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

The events, sponsored by the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Association, include an awards and recognition banquet, a community breakfast, a lecture and a quiz bowl. A prayer service is also planned, with details forthcoming.

Celebratory events are:


Jan. 13: An awards and recognition banquet, which includes the awarding of scholarships and citizen awards, at 7 p.m. in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. 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. 14: Annual Ecumenical Prayer Service at 6 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, located at 4916 High St. in Fort Smith.


Jan. 15: A parade beginning at 11:30 a.m. in downtown Fort Smith. For more information, contact 415-669-6809 or


Jan. 15: An MLK Breakfast beginning 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. The breakfast will include a panel discussion titled “Love and Unity in the Service of Hope,” which will feature alumni of Lincoln High School sharing their experiences integrating into Northside High School, the discrimination they faced, what it took for them to forgive, and the hopeful aspirations they have for Arkansas and for America. For more information, contact Leroy Cox at 479-788-7768 or


Jan. 17: Quiz Bowl on the Civil Rights Movement from 11 a.m.-noon at the fireplace in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Dr. Steve Kite, associate professor of history, will serve as the moderator. For more information, contact Dr. Williams Yamkam, assistant professor of political science, at 479-788-7981 or


Jan. 18: A public lecture on the Civil Rights Movement, from 12:30-1:45 p.m. at the fireplace in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. The lecture will be given by Dr. Mike Crane, assistant professor of history. For more information, contact Yamkam at 479-788-7981 or


Jan 19: A showing of the movie, “The Ernest Green Story,” from noon-2 p.m. in the Gardner Lecture Hall. The movie chronicles the trials and tribulations of Ernest Green and the other eight African Americans in their struggle to integrate Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Billy Higgins, associate professor of history, will serve as the moderator. For more information, contact Yamkam at 479-788-7981 or


The events mark the seventh 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.



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