Chippewa Valley honors Martin Luther King Jr.

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 4:45 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 18, 2021 at 7:05 AM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Monday marks the 38th anniversary of the first federal holiday honoring an African American. Since 1983, the third Monday of every January is known as Martin Luther King Junior Day.

The remembrance celebration in the Chippewa Valley is going virtual this year, it will kick off at noon run through 8:30 p.m. on Monday. The event will feature readings, artwork, educational sessions and music. Chippewa Valley experts will discuss topics including the ABC’s of racism; race, civility and the first amendment; in addition to How does the history of the Ku Klux Klan in the Chippewa Valley affect us today?

“The idea is the true Wisconsin idea, we use expertise from different areas to make our daily lives better so we have brought together people whose ideas and concepts can make our daily lives better,” said Selika Ducksworth Lawton, an organizer of the MLK Day event.

During those panel discussions local leaders will share about building trust, unity and repairing relationships all in the spirit of Dr. King’s message. “To give them some information, to give them some hope, to give them some tactics, to give them some support that we are all here, we are here together,” Ducksworth-Lawton said. The theme of the day is not only to look back at the history, but also how to use the history as a decision making tool for moving forward.

If you would like to join in, anyone can watch on a Facebook live event or you can register on Perigon and there you can ask questions and join the conversation.

The remembrance celebration runs from noon until 8:30 p.m. on Monday. Here is a schedule:

- 12:15 p.m.: A panel discussion about the history of the KKK in the Chippewa Valley and how it affects people today.

- 1 p.m.: Discussion about antisemitism and racism.

- 1:30 p.m.: Discussion of the Transformation Project.

- 2 p.m.: A panel discussion about race and religion.

- 3:45 p.m.: Discussion of Race, Civility, and the First Amendment.

- 5 p.m.: Discussion on the “ABCs of Racism.”

- 6:30 p.m.: A message from UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt.

- 7 p.m. Converge Radio presents “We’re Still Dreaming,” with music and readings from local contributors.

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