Myrlie Evers-Williams to speak at Missouri Theatre

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COLUMBIA- The community will have the opportunity to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy alongside other civil rights activists Wednesday. 

The University of Missouri will host its annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Lecture on Wednesday January 28 at the Missouri Theatre beginning at 7:00 p.m.

This year's speaker is Myrlie Evers-Willams, widow of civil rights activist Medgar Evers. Evers-Williams is a civil rights activist and the former chairperson of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Cynthia Frisby has been chairing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Planning Committee for at least 12 years. Frisby said there are a few steps the committee takes in selecting annual speakers including thinking about a theme, collecting a few names, and then voting on those names.

"I think for this year, 2015, some of the other names that were tossed around was Diane Nash and Angela Davis to name a few," Frisby said.

Frisby said the committee noticed a big turn around in the number of those attending the lecture after booking the 2012 lecture speaker.

"I've seen where we've had maybe 70 people come out or we might have had 200. Maybe the most we ever could have hoped for would have been 400, " Frisby said, "So Larry Wilmore was that major turn in which we saw close to 800, 900 people and that's when we, you could imagine, we were like ‘whoa!' this was great."

Frisby said the committee wanted to get people re-energized about honoring Dr. King because they felt that the day and any event to celebrate him had become kind of complacent in the minds and hearts of people.

Frisby said tickets for Evers-Williams have sold out.