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UAFS to celebrate MLK Week with several events

UAFS will host several events honoring and celebrating the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

FORT SMITH, Ark. — The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith (UAFS) is hosting several events in January celebrating and honoring the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Sponsored by the university's MLK Celebrate the Dream Team, this year's events will be united under the theme, Living the Maladjusted Life: Always Putting Others First, inspired by Dr. King's Dec. 18, 1963, speech on the campus of Western Michigan University. 

"This theme is about not adjusting to or giving in to the typical current state of our society where fear, division, self-centeredness, xenophobia, and a multitude of 'isms' dominate the very psyche of our communities," said Jackie Flake, pastor of Community Bible Church of Fort Smith. "This year's theme is a call to live differently, to refuse the acceptable norms that hurt, harm, and hinder individuals and communities from flourishing. As Reverend Dr. King would say, 'to proudly live maladjusted' is to seek to put others first."

This year's commemorative activities include a prayer service, breakfast, educational sessions, school supply and peanut butter drives, and fireside chats. 

Face masks will be required for all indoor events, and all gatherings will follow safety guidelines from the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health.

Sunday, Jan. 16

An ecumenical service will take place at 6:30 p.m. at St. James Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Smith.

Monday, Jan. 17:

The annual MLK Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. at the Stubblefield Center at UAFS. The free, public event will include a panel discussion featuring panelists from the Community Clearing House, Literacy Council, Salvation Army, Crisis Stabilization Unit. Fort Smith Mayor George McGill will moderate it.

A peanut butter drive will be held with collection boxes at the Stubblefield Center entrance and in the Campus Center from Jan. 12-20. Jars collected will benefit the River Valley Regional Food Bank. Average-sized jars of peanut butter can provide 15 meals when paired with a loaf of bread.

Wednesday, Jan. 19

A fireside chat will take place at noon at the fireplace of the Campus Center featuring Bente Eriksen, executive director of the Literacy Council of Western Arkansas.

Friday, Jan. 21

A fireside chat will take place at noon at the fireplace of the Campus Center featuring Joey Potts, Program Director at the Sebastian County Crisis Stabilization Unit.

Jan. 10 – Jan. 20

A school supply drive benefitting regional students will be held throughout the week in honor of Dr. King's commitment to education. Collection boxes will be in the Campus Center.

Jan. 10 – Jan. 20
A collection of books and selected writings about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be displayed at the UAFS Boreham Library.

Click here for more information.

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