This week’s celebration leading up to Monday as the national holiday honoring the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. included two special awards to special people.
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City at the Community Luncheon on Tuesday gave its Community Service Award to Ollie Gates, owner of Gates Bar-B-Q. Gates was praised as a businessman, for his civic service and for efforts to build up the neighborhoods that surround his restaurants.
The Community Service Award went to Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, deputy director of the Kansas City Public Library and vice chair of the Black Archives of Mid-America, 1722 E. 17th Terrace. Kositany-Buckner received the award for efforts to improve the library system — particularly in the urban core — and for her work to keep the Black Archives of Mid-America alive and make it a notable Kansas City institution.