In Honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.
An ARJ Special Screening

“True Justice – Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality”
A Significant Documentary Film & Community Discussion 

Saturday, January 18   
1:30-4:30 PM
The Foundry – Resurrection Leawood

What shaped your understanding of race?  What false narratives allow legitimization of unjust practices? What are the hard truths of our past?  What can we do to make a difference? 

You may have seen the Hollywood movie Just Mercy starring Michael B. Jordon and Jamie Foxx that tells the true story of Walter McMillan, who with the help of a young Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction.

Now, take a deeper dive into the issues by attending a special screening of True Justice – Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equal Justice. This documentary chronicles how racial injustice emerged, evolved and continues to threaten our country.  Following the film, ARJ will lead an open discussion to explore how we can confront our history of racial and economic injustice and help create equal justice for all.  This event is free and open to the public. Register here.

Changing of the ARJ Guard

Four years ago, St. James UMC and Church of the Resurrection formed Allies for Racial Justice. The commitment was, and remains, transforming our congregations and our city into the place envisioned by Jesus. A place where all brothers and sisters in Christ care for and empathize with one another.

Betsy Triplett (Resurrection) and Dr. Ernest Middleton (St. James) became the founding lay leaders. And lead they have; setting goals, forging relationships, and building bridges of understanding in our church families and throughout the city. We owe them an incredible debt of appreciation for the many hours they’ve committed to launching and growing ARJ.

As their term reaches its conclusion, two new lay leaders have been announced. They are Anita Maltbia (St. James) and Kay McCarthy (Resurrection). Both have actively served on the ARJ Steering Committee. We congratulate them on their appointments and look forward to working together to further the mission of ARJ.

Partner Church MLK Day Events

15th Annual MLK Musical Tribute
“Continuing to Pursue the Dream of Equality for Future Generations”

Saturday, January 18, 6:30 PM
St. James UMC – 5540 Wayne, KCMO

The evening will feature music and dance performances and speakers, including Rev. Dr. Karla J. Cooper and Anita Maltbia. This event is free, open to the public. For additional information: or call 816 763-1232.

MLK Serve Day 2020
Monday, January 20

Church of the Resurrection – Families, individuals and groups of all ages will work together to make an impact. Learn more and register here.

St. James – Opportunities include Flourish Furnishings, Habitat for Humanity, Harvester, NourishKC and many more. To register, email Yvette Richards at or 816-802-8234.

Community Events & Activities

Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

• The Dream Continues Exhibit Opening Reception
Saturday, January 11, 3-5 PM
2020 Community Luncheon & Awards
Tuesday, January 14, 12pm at Westin Crown Center
Mass Celebration – Justice and Equity Here and Now
Monday, January 20, 6pm at Palestine Missionary Baptist Church

UMKC Division of Diversity & Inclusion
12th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture
Tuesday, January 21 – 6:00 PM 

This year’s keynote speaker, Dr. Harry Edwards, has a long and storied history of activism, including the Black athlete boycott of the United States 1968 Olympic team. Edwards is considered a leading authority on developments at the interface of race, sport, and society and a pioneering scholar in the founding of the sociology of sport as an academic discipline.

The Open Table Presents
Art as Activism: A Playback Theater Workshop
Sunday, January 26 – Workshop: 1-5, Dinner and performance: 6pm
318 E 55th St. KCMO

Emily Bartlett of b.hive theatre leads this playback theatre experience. Volunteers from the audience tell personal stories, then watch as trained actors and musicians create theatre on the spot. Enjoy this story-based improvisational theater that builds connections, dialogue, and change. Open to all people, all experiences, artists or not.