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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

By: Olivia Ryckman | Published: January 31, 2024 | Categories: Press Release
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration

Missouri Southern to host 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration

In collaboration with the local NAACP chapter, Missouri Southern will host the city’s 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration on Monday, Feb. 5 from 6-8 p.m. in the Ron Richard Athletic Center, formerly the North End Zone.

The keynote speaker will be Dr. Richard Pearson, the newly appointed police chief at the Joplin Police Department. Chief Pearson previously served as captain of the Jefferson County Public School System Police Department in Louisville, Kentucky and spent 22 years with the Louisville Metro Police Department. He was appointed Joplin’s police chief in December 2023.

“Living the Dream: It Starts with Me—Spreading Hope, Courage and Unity” is the theme for the event. Music will be performed by the marimba band Kufara. Hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m. with the program starting at 7 p.m.

“This event typically commemorates the legacy of Dr. King by highlighting his tireless efforts in civil rights, social justice, and equality,” said Lori Musser, MSSU’s coordinator for the event. “It allows us to honor and reflect upon Dr. King’s teachings, principles, and activism, promoting diversity, inclusivity, and equality for all who attend.” For additional information, contact Lori Musser at or visit