Lawrence school district to host annual MLK Jr. celebration; student volunteers needed

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Community members are invited to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with Lawrence school district students and staff.

Selected by the district’s Student Equity Council, this year’s One Dream MLK Celebration theme is “Together, We are the Dream United as One Voice,” according to a district news release. It honors the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. 

During the celebration, one student and staff member from each district school who embodies the theme will be recognized with 2024 Keeper of the Dream Awards. 

Nikkolas Smith, award-winning illustrator of “The Artivist,” is slated as guest speaker. “The Artivist” is a 2023 picture book about children learning to fuse art and activism. 

Moving forward, the book will be “used as a districtwide resource to celebrate how individuals can use their gifts to incite change,” according to the release.

Additionally, the event planning committee is currently seeking 60 student volunteers to help at the celebration. Volunteers would assist with setup, participate as “March on Washington” cast members during the program, and stay after for cleanup, according to the release.

Students can scan the QR code on the event flyer or go directly to the Google form at this link to sign up for one or more volunteer roles. The deadline to fill out the signup sheet is Thursday, Jan. 11.

The One Dream MLK Celebration is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 18 at the Lied Center, 1600 Stewart Drive. The building gallery is set to open at 6 p.m. followed by the celebration beginning in the auditorium at 7 p.m.

Free refreshments will be provided as Smith signs books after the program. He’s also set to go on an eight-school tour during his visit to Lawrence.

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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