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Multicultural Festival Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

President-Elect Obama has released a statement calling for a national day of service next Monday to celebrate Martin Luther King Day.Some of Springfield’s community has responded to his wishes.KSMU’s Ryan Farmer has more.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood for an era of change. He called upon Americans to understand the diverse country we live in, and to give back in service to that community. With the celebration of his birthday on Monday one group is giving the Ozarks community that opportunity. UNITE is an organization that produces a news publication directed toward local African American families. However, on Monday the group will call for the entire Ozark community to share in its 12th Annual Springfield Multicultural Festival. Unite’s President and Event Coordinator, Samuel Knox, talks about the organization’s goal for the event.

"We’re facilitating the networking and the diversity of people and cultures that we have right here in the Ozarks. So I think that’s in keeping in the spirit of the King Holiday. I think that the festival is a great addition to the number of things that you can to on the day of," says Knox.

The Festival invites families to experience over 40 exhibitors sharing information on healthcare, employment and educational opportunities, and other life enrichment resources.Irish, Korean, Latin American and Middle Eastern dancing will also be a part of the afternoon festival.Knox says that he thinks Monday’s event will be a great day for families.

"I think there would be something there for the entire family. Just the number of organizations that will be offering and sharing information about the quality of life resources that are available, here in Springfield and in the Ozarks," says Knox.

The festival will take place at Juanita K. Hammons Hall on Missouri State University’s campus from 1-5pm.Admission is free.

For KSMU News, I’m Ryan Farmer.