Martin Luther King Jr.

Courtesy - SCLC-GKC

Across the city, people celebrated the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. with parades, dancing, singing and community service. 

For Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, the best way to honor that legacy is through activism.

This year, paired with a celebration of King's life, is the official launch of a campaign for a ten-year, one-eighth cent sales tax increase to benefit the city's East Side. 

On Monday, the SCLC-GKC sponsored a community forum to discuss the proposed tax increase. 

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com/

Mark Bedell faces a big challenge; leading Kansas City Public Schools back to full accreditation. Today, the superintendent talks about his first sixth months on the job, and his plans to improve grades and raise graduation rates. Then, jazz icon Ramsey Lewis explains how he's using his piano to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Kansas Memory

On April 4, 1968, the radio and TV crackled with awful news: Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

Vincent Chow / Flickr -- CC

From 60 degrees to a winter weather advisory in just a couple of days: yes, the weather here can be manic. A chat with Mike July, who recently retired from the National Weather Service office in KC, about the art of forecasting ... and about his witty social media posts.

Then, in 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. gave a surprising speech at K-State. We'll hear about the impression it left on Kansans.

Fibonacci Blue / Flickr - CC

From the Standing Rock protests to the European migrant crisis, we explore the stories of faith and values that made headlines in the last year. Then, we meet a community activist who has spent decades working on behalf of urban neighborhoods in Kansas City.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

Volunteers began gathering early Monday morning at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. 

They braved icy roads and single-digit temperatures but none doubted the reason they were there. 

"This is one of the biggest celebrations of the year," said Frank Lavender, a lead organizer for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Motorcade/March for Hunger. "It gives us the opportunity to make the community aware of the all the people who need food. We use this day to get the word out."

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

On this edition of Up to Date, poet Nikki Giovanni talks about Ferguson, Bill Cosby, and reflects on the terrible incident that occurred on her campus at Virginia Tech in 2007. On the subject of Martin Luther King, Jr., she told Steve Kraske, "That voice has carried across the earth." 

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Leaders from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and other civil rights groups in Kansas City are promising that the city's annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations will continue in the absence of The Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson.

Thompson was laid to rest Saturday, just two days before MLK Day. The long-time civil rights activist had a big hand in organizing Kansas City's events honoring the life and work of King. 

New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Mountaintop" speech from Memphis is famous for its ending and because he was assassinated the next day. However, much of the speech doesn't receive a lot of attention today. 

Looking Back At The March On Washington

Feb 27, 2013
U.S. Information Agency Press and Publications Service

One of the most iconic moments of the Civil Rights Movement was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, which took place during the 1963 March on Washington.

How The Civil Rights Movement Evolved

Feb 20, 2013

What started as a few protests and sit-ins evolved into the Civil Rights movement, but how did that happen?

MLK's Spiritual & Intellectual Father

May 15, 2012

We may see Martin Luther King, Jr., as the father of the civil rights movement, but history teaches us that the 'family' around movements has its roots in previous generations.

Are We There Yet? Working Towards a Dream

Jan 16, 2012
flickr/ChellieL

What would the great Dr. King think of our country today? Are we living his dream?

Not quite, according to some.

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we'll talk with folks working everyday for their idea of social and economic equality.