ABOUT THE 2021 MLK THEME
This year’s theme is comes from two sources. "Our Rising Voices" comes from the 2021 MLK Breakfast sponsored by General Mills and the United Negro College Fund. "Where do we go from here: chaos or community?" is the title of Dr. King's final book - published after his death in 1968.
The 2021 MLK Virtual Rally
January 18, 2021
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Duluth and Superior are honoring and celebrating the legacy of Civil Rights Movement leader, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a virtual event from January 18, 2021 coordinated by the Duluth Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). This event is free and open to the public.
This year’s theme is “Our Rising Voices- a Call for Bold Social Action” and This year’s theme is centered around Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 's "Where do we go from here: chaos or community?" is the title of Dr. King's final book - published after his death in 1968.
Dr. King’s acute analysis of American race relations and the state of the movement after a decade of civil rights efforts. Here he lays out his thoughts, plans, and dreams for America’s future, including the need for better jobs, higher wages, decent housing, and quality education. With a universal message of hope that continues to resonate, King demanded an end to global suffering, powerfully asserting that humankind-for the first time-has the resources and technology to eradicate poverty.
In light of the current pandemic this year's theme “Where do we go from here: Chaos or Community?” with communities torn apart and the current status of our Country, there is a call for Bold Social Action, and it is such a time as this to “Raise our Voices” The Twin Ports Rally includes:
The Twin Ports Tribute will be interpreted into American Sign Language.
The 2021 MLK Virtual Breakfast
OUR RISING VOICES:
About Our Presenters
Here are bios of from some of the people involved in the program:
Classy Dudley is a Duluth native and longtime member of the Duluth NAACP Branch. She was elected Outreach Officer/Affirmative Action Officer on the Senate District Seven Board as the youngest and the only person of color elected at the time. In 2017, Classie produced a film featured on Duluth CW called The Secrets of being Black: Duluth Edition. Classie was chosen to be 1 out of 16 sponsored youths across the country to participate in Leadership 500 Summit sponsored by the National Board of Directors of the NAACP. In 2018 Classie was the first graduating class of NAACP NextGen, a leadership development program for young adults to serve within the NAACP. Currently Classie owns and operates a Board & Lodge in St. Louis County, serving the homeless population.
A long- time community activist and leader, Henry was a founder and 1st Co-Chair - Clayton, Jackson, McGhie, Incorporated and is an At-Large Director and Secretary/Treasurer - Duluth Transit Authority. He also serves as a Board Member for Damiano Center and is a committee member - Minnesota Equal Opportunity Partnership - MEOP - also known as Philando Castile Omnibus Bill 2021.
Diona Johnson, MSW, LICSW
Diona Johnson (she/her) also known as DiJay is a Black, Queer, Transracial Adoptee who resides in Duluth, MN (though she was raised in St. Paul, MN). She is a licensed Mental Health Professional and recently worked in community mental health. Currently, she is taking an intentional hiatus and focusing on other strength areas. Her passion for social justice is rooted in her own experiences within her intersecting identities as well as her commitment to making positive change.
Diona is also an artist and is both a musician and a model. She is currently looking forward to recording her first solo album under the management of her team DanSan Creatives.
ChaQuana McEntyre, MSW, Founder of Family Rise Together and Najen, LLC
ChaQuana has dedicated her life to acquiring experience around passionate and purposeful people strategy which has accumulated in the launch of Family Rise Together. ChaQuana is an author, speaker, entrepreneur and social worker in St. Louis County, Minnesota. ChaQuana has a keen sense of facilitating uncomfortable forums about fatherhood, systematic oppression for the paternal family system and cross-cultural discussions. She has had the opportunity to participate in a variety of facilitating courses, workshops and seminars that have allowed for a broad resource base on which to build her career.
ChaQuana obtained her bachelor's and master’s degree in social work with a focus on child protection services. She earned her Master's at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. She has also completed chemical dependency certification. ChaQuana has 15 years’ experience working with adults who live with dual diagnosis and mental health disabilities. ChaQuana was also employed as a contract. ChaQuana later became a full time employee for St. Louis County; she worked as a Cultural Specialist Family Group Decision Making Facilitator, child protection social worker and Safety Planner.
ChaQuana utilizes her natural talents, education and community resources to work with men who are reintegrating back into the community from incarceration. She volunteers with the Minnesota Department of Corrections to offer men who are incarcerated a new perspective on life and opportunities available to them. She created a workshop educating 16 youth how to start a business, how to create community vulnerability assessment tools, how to utilize the data to create the Pop Up Shop within the Lincoln Park community; which addressed the needs of community members and local families. ChaQuana participated in the ecosystem building collaborative; Creative Startups Labs in Duluth 2018. ChaQuana continues to build relationships and partnerships to strengthen the ecosystem for entrepreneurs in Duluth. As the CEO of Family Rise Together, ChaQuana continues to strive for a place and opportunities for children of diverse backgrounds to know they are welcomed, wanted and needed in their community. As an entrepreneur, ChaQuana has started to address the hair and skin care needs of African American and Biracial children in foster care in St. Louis County with her 100% Organic Hair and Body Balm. ChaQuana is a mother, a friend, a mentor, a listening ear, and a teacher.
Janet Kennedy is a lifelong Duluthian, who raised her two children as a single parent; she has nine grandchildren and is caring for her aging mother, Annie. Annie, grew up in Columbus, Mississippi, where her family worked as sharecroppers, moving to Duluth as part of the Duluth Air Force Base. Her mother raised her and her two brothers in the projects of Central Hillside and Western Duluth, teaching them the value of education and hard work. As a military family Janet watched as her Dad served in Korea, her Uncle in Vietnam, her brother in the Navy, and recently learned that her grandson Sean; National Guard Army Reservist, will be deployed to Kuwait in March 2021.
In 2019, through perseverance and grit, Janet won a hard-fought election with the help of the Kennedy Campaign Committee, becoming the first African Heritage woman to serve as a lawmaker on the Duluth City Council. Her passion is health and health equity with focus on the social determinants of health, identified as key factors in the decreased life expectancy outcomes across our city, county, state and country. She is the CEO of Healthy Alliances Matter LLC and founder of Healthy Alliances Matter for All, providing community and organizational capacity, management and development solutions and strategies that make a difference. Together community impact development and investments coupled with community health initiatives, will create resilient and sustainable neighborhoods, individuals, and families. Janet believes: “A community will only survive and prosper as a whole when we are all walking on even ground.”
Rev. Greg Briggs is the new Interim Lead Pastor at Peace United Church of Christ. He is a trained intentional interim minister, which are ministers in his denomination that serve churches who are transitioning between settled pastors. He is originally from Michigan, having served three churches and a camp and retreat center in his ten years of ministry. He attended Chicago Theological Seminary and interned at Primera Iglesia Congregacional in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. By nature he is a classic nerd who loves science, science fiction, and nature, and began his life of activism advocating for clean water. He also tries to do his own work and wants to be held accountable by many different communities.
Carl Crawford was selected by Mayor Emily Larson as Duluth’s Human Rights Officer in July 2016 after serving as Lake Superior College’s Intercultural Center Coordinator since 2007. As the Human Rights Officer, Crawford is charged with enforcing City and state human rights laws and works to ensure City services are accessible to all people without discrimination. In addition, the Human Rights Officer also serves as the Equal Opportunity Representative for the City of Duluth and the ADA Coordinator, responsible for enforcement of policies against discrimination and harassment, diversifying the workforce and promoting accessibility for all residents.
Crawford brings a deep history of community involvement and human rights work to the position, including helping to draft the original Human Rights Ordinance, serving as past chair of the Human Rights Commission and was a founding board member of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial.
In addition, Crawford has served on numerous Board of Directors, including Community Action Duluth, Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, Woodland Hills, Men as Peacemakers, the Ordean Foundation, SOAR, NAACP, and American Cancer Society. He is the recipient of the 2012 MLK Jr. Drum Major for Peace Award, is active with the Family Freedom School of Duluth and is a longtime youth and high school basketball coach.