Martin Luther King III, son of famed civil rights leader, to speak at Kansas City event

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A son of the late civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. will make an appearance at Metropolitan Community College’s Chancellor’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Luncheon on Friday.

Martin Luther King III is the oldest of the three surviving children of MLK Jr. and Coretta Scott King, and is the keynote speaker at the event, which raises funds for student scholarships at the college. The event starts at 11 a.m. at the Loews Kansas City Hotel, 1515 Wyandotte St.

King III will engage in an onstage conversation with Lisa Ginter, CEO of CommunityAmerica Credit Union, the luncheon’s presenting sponsor, according to a news release. The discussion will focus on:

  • King III’s continuation of his family’s legacy and work for equality

  • The current state of the American civil rights movement

  • How Kansas City business and civic leaders can “Be Part of the Dream.”

The luncheon will honor and introduce the five students who won the 2024 Chancellor’s Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship, which is good for a full year of tuition at the college. The MCC foundation will also award Bob Kendrick, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president, with its Alvin Brooks Kansas Citian Inspiration Award.

KSHB news anchor Kevin Holmes will be the emcee for the second straight year.

Tickets for the luncheon are sold out as of Tuesday. Those who attend the luncheon will receive King III’s children’s picture book, “My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” courtesy of the Kansas City Royals.

The oldest son of MLK Jr., he’s a human rights advocate and humanitarian who served as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization his father founded, from 1997-2004. King III and his wife, Arndrea Waters King, lead the Drum Major Institute, which works to advance his father’s mission and legacy.