Independence's 31st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration is 7 p.m. Monday at the Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave. The theme of this year's celebration is “The Color of Unity,” and the guest speaker will Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

The essay contest winners for the $500 John Olivarez Scholarship for high school students and the eighth grade contest will be announced. Both essays will be read.

“When we plan our program each year, it is an expression of our gratitude to a man who fought and died for the civil rights of all oppressed people, regardless of race, color, creed or heritage, and to keep his dream alive in the city of Independence, Missouri,” said Nancy Harris, member of The Community of Concerned Citizens and the Martin Luther King Commission.

Sponsors include the city, The Community of Concerned Citizens, Local Investment Commission (LINC), the Human Relations Commission, the Ministerial Alliance, and The Examiner.