Columbia State Community College’s Office of Access and Diversity will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration program on Jan. 19 at 6:30 p.m. The tribute to King will take place in the Cherry Theater and will feature poetry, music, prayer and reflections on the Civil Rights Movement leader.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Reflecting on a Non-Violent Leader during Violence in America Today.”

Rev. Troy Merritt, Jr.

“Columbia State continues to celebrate the life of King,” Dr. Christa Martin, assistant to the president for access and diversity. “His teachings and promotion of nonviolent civil disobedience is still relevant today.”

King, a prominent African American leader, was best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience.

The program features keynote speaker the Rev. Troy Merritt, Jr., presiding elder of North Nashville District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

In addition, the Columbia State choir will perform under the direction of Emily Gaskill, associate professor of music. Praise dancers from Friendship Missionary Baptist Church will also participate in the evening’s program.

The Cherry Theater is in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike. The event is free and open to the public.

In case of inclement weather, the program will be rescheduled for Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m.