The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, in the North End Zone building at Missouri Southern State University.

The theme for this year’s event is “Music … A Universal Stepping Stone Toward Peace.” Doors will open at 6 p.m. and refreshments will be served. Nimrod Chapel, Jr., will be the guest speaker.

Chapel, the president of the Missouri State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, is an experienced trial attorney with more than a decade of practice ranging from work in law firms to state government. He was responsible for a broad array of litigation regarding enforcement of civil rights, discrimination, consumer protection, and wage and hour and accessibility laws throughout Missouri. He is an active member of the Missouri Bar, currently serving on the Board of Governors for the Western District, and is involved with numerous community not-for-profit groups, civic and professional organizations.

The event is free and open to the public. An RSVP is preferred but not mandatory. To RSVP, contact Stacey Clay at

The MLK celebration is sponsored by: MSSU Student Activities Office, Commerce Bank, the Islamic Society of Joplin, the Joplin Globe, Owens Corning, Residence Inn by Marriot-Joplin, the MSSU Show-Me GOLD Program, Student Veterans Organization, Missouri National Guard, Carver Birthplace Association, Fox 14/KOAM, South Joplin Christian Church, U.S. Bank, College Heights Christian Church, Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, Joplin Metro Credit Union, NAACP of Southwest Missouri and Ozark Christian College.