Duluth and Superior are honoring and celebrating the legacy of Civil Rights Movement leader, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., in a series of tribute events from January 20 - 21 coordinated by the Duluth Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). These events are free and open to the public.
This year’s theme is “The Current Crisis” which comes from an article by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., submitted for publication in March of 1958. In the article under the full title, “The Current Crisis in Race Relations,” King tells us that the crisis had been affirmed by the reactions of the country to the Supreme Court’s decision to integrate schools.
Dr. King also speaks to the theological reasoning for nonviolence and integration. Nonviolence combats the evil committed by individuals rather than combating the individuals committing evil. As we contextualize his ideology today in our fight for justice and racial equity, we remember that our fight isn’t between individuals but with the systems of oppression that affect each of us. As King says “The tension is at bottom between justice and injustice.”
We will honor Dr. King in this year’s events including:
- Interfaith Worship Service - January 20, 4pm at Peace United Church of Christ - 300 E 2nd St, Duluth
- Community Breakfast - January 21, 7am at First United Methodist Church - 230 E. Skyline Pkwy, Duluth
- March - January 21, 10am at Washington Center - 310 N 1st Ave W, Duluth, MN 55806 & March begins at 11:15 AM
- Rally - January 21, 12 pm at the DECC - 350 Harbor Dr, Duluth.
The Inter-Faith Worship Service will include remarks from Rev. Tracey Gibson of St. Mark AME Church; Dr. Jerel Benton, Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity at UWS; Rickie Defoe, Fond du Lac Ojibwe tribal member and spiritual advisor; and Rabbi David Steinberg of Temple Israel. Performers will be the Wayman A.M.E. Men's Chorus including Henry Banks.
The Community Breakfast will feature a free, hot, delicious meal provided by the Duluth Grill and served by the African American Men’s Group; a presentation by First United Methodist Church Pastor Jeanne Alexander; and a live-streamed broadcast of the Twin Cities MLK Day Celebration. The program’s emcee will be Stephanie Williams of the planning committee.
The 2019 MLK March will host a variety of youth and community activities, giveaways, and refreshments starting at 10am, and the March will begin promptly at 11:15am.
The 2019 MLK Rally keynote speaker is Minneapolis resident, singer-songwriter, and Black Lives Matter activist Me’Lea Connelly. She is the founder of Blexit, a grassroots economic resistance organization and the Director of the Association for Black Economic Power. The Rally emcee is Tolu Ekisola, a local actress in her final semester at the University of Minnesota Duluth completing a BFA in Musical Theatre and Deaf Studies. Performances from Deiondrea VanDassor and Joyce Biddle, the ARE Poets, and Majur Attraktion will also take place along with the City of Duluth’s Proclamation, installation of NAACP Officers, and amazing giveaways! The 2019 Drum Major for Peace Award Recipients for youth, adult, and organization categories will be announced at the Rally as well.
All events in the MLK Tribute series serve to inspire and educate our community, honoring the work and life of Martin Luther King, Jr. through meaningful local community engagement. For the first year ever, we have available a series of 2019 MLK Commemorative Posters created to our theme for pre-sale with all proceeds going towards supporting the events. Visit duluthnaacp.org/shop to order today. They will also be available at the Inter-Faith Worship Service and the MLK Rally for pick-up. Posters will be sold at the events while supplies last.
For more on all of our MLK Tribute events, please visit duluthnaacp.org/mlk.
The 2019 MLK events are made possible this year by the American Indian Community Housing Organization, American Lung Association, Blackbird Revolt, Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, DanSan Creatives, Duluth Entertainment Convention Center, Duluth Grill, First United Methodist Church, Interfaith Action Of Greater Saint Paul, ISD 709 Duluth Public Schools' Office of Educational Equity, Ivy Vainio & Arne Vainio, M.D., Minnesota Environmental Partnership, National Audio Visual, Northland Foundation, Peace United Church of Christ, Temple Israel, The College of St. Scholastica, The University of Minnesota Duluth Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Trans Plus, and Wisconsin Public Radio.