"Caring for the Dream" is the theme of Ashland's 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

"Caring for the Dream" is the theme of Ashland's 22nd annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

In observance of what would have been the slain civil rights leader's 81st birthday, Monday, Jan. 18, community volunteers have organized the celebration to pay homage to the man who endeavored to bring peace and equality to a divided nation during the 1950s and '60s.

The event will be held at noon at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland.

This year's keynote speaker, La Clinica Development Director Maria Ramos Underwood, will address King's words, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' "

Students from Ashland schools, Crater Renaissance Academy and Southern Oregon University will share their thoughts on the life and vision of King.

Following the students' words, several musicians and dancers will perform, including Rich McCloud, Mosley Wotta, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Lightening Bugs, The Marston Family, Taiko drummer Kelvin Underwood joined by Americna Indian drummer Brent Florendo, the Teen Theater and Ballet Folklorico Allegre.

D.L. Richardson, an SOU communication professor, will emcee the event.

The SOU Black Student Union will lead a march to the Plaza, where King's "I Have a Dream" speech will be played followed by music by The Rogue Valley Peace Choir.

Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. In the pasts years, the armory has reached its capacity by noon. A live-streaming simulcast will be offered at Oregon Stage Works, 191 A St., thanks to Ashland TV.

The event is free; however, nonperishable food items can be donated to ACCESS Inc. at the event. For more information, call 541-482-2111, ext. 435.