University Communications

MLK Day Community Celebration

MLK Community Celebration focuses on 'Trust & Healing in the Beloved Community' 

MLK 2022 Community Celebration graphicThe Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Community Celebration returns in 2022 with multi day, multi-generational, and hybrid events that raise up the theme “Trust & Healing in the Beloved Community.” All activities take place Jan. 15-17.

“We are so incredibly excited for all that is planned this year, and to commemorate Dr. King’s dream of a multiracial nation united in justice, peace, and reconciliation. We aim to inspire everyone to claim this dream of MLK every day,” said Mary Clifford, co-chair for St. Cloud MLK 2022 Community Celebration committee. MLK Community Celebration Co-Chairs feature community wide leadership in Buddy King, Desiree’ Clark, Mary Clifford, Kirsten Wagenius and Rachel Anyulainjo.

This MLK Community Celebration includes activities over three days and offers several ways to get involved and honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. All activities take place at no cost thanks to several community sponsors. You can find details and registration for all events online.

Major Events

Saturday

Jan. 15 from 1-3 p.m. is a focus on #MLK EverydayFamilies at the Great River Regional Library. The celebration will create fun and dynamic activities for families, honor the Dexter R. Stanton Art and Essay winners (creations inspired by the work of MLK, submitted in November), and host several meet and greets with local community talent. Online resources will be also available for families and young people to engage and learn about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday

Jan. 16 from 3-5 p.m. is #MLKEveryDay Spirit with a praise and worship celebration at  Spirit of Grace Atonement Lutheran Church. Join the celebration to honor the rich historical tradition of the African American church in celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and all of those who nourished and sustain him in tradition of civil rights and justice. This event will also be livestreamed via the Higher Ground Church of God in Christ Facebook page.

Monday

Jan. 17 – 9 a.m.- noon on MLK Day is #MLKEveryDay Justice: Trust and Healing in the Beloved Community. This event will be fully livestreamed, with an option to gather at a community watch party location, or to join the Zoom and conversation from your home or workplace.

The keynote address will be Dr. Artika Tyner, a passionate educator, author, speaker, and advocate for justice. She is at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and is the founding director of the Center on Race, Leadership, and Social Justice. She is committed to training others so they may create new inroads to justice freedom.

This year’s theme is aimed at providing attendees with tools to create and maintain meaningful relationships even though times where things are uncertain. A discussion about the Beloved Community and what that meant for Dr. King will connect that message to how cross-cultural trust can be built and rebuilt in our own community.

Many community leaders have roles during this special celebration: St. Cloud State University President Robbyn Wacker, Mayor Dave Kleis, St. Cloud Technical & Community College President Dr. Annesa Cheek, and Rev. James Alberts of Higher Ground Church. Humanitarian Award & Dextor Stanton Art & Essay winners will also be recognized.

A key part of this event through the years has been the Community Conversation, and this will be hosted this will be hosted by the MLK Community Celebration Planning committee immediately following Dr. Artika’s presentation.

All events on Monday will be offered in a unique hybrid model. With changes in our community health outlook, opportunities are available both bring people together and keep our community safe by hosting multiple "reserved-seating watch parties" at preferred local venues as well as an online venue available to anyone. Watch party locations are growing, and individuals and organizations can sign up on the registration form now for information on how to host a watch party for your organization and/or as a public gathering location for up to 30 people.
In addition to hosting a watch party, there are some other great ways to engage:

  • Nominate an organization or person to receive a Humanitarian Award. Humanitarian Awards are to recognize individuals and groups that live MLK Every Day. They inspire us and are passionate to care for others and live in service in unexpected ways. All ages are accepted.
  • Volunteering to be a Community Champion, and with training then help lead discussions online or at watch parties following the Monday, Jan. 17 presentation by Dr. Artika Tyner.
  • Pick up your very own #MLKEveryday T shirt or mask to join in the celebration on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and every day.

Your registration will connect you to links for online events, information about watch party locations, the opportunity to volunteer, and all the information for #MLKEveryday 2022.

Registration, including interest in being a Community Champion or Watch Party host, Humanitarian nominations, and MLK Everyday T-shirts and masks are available at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Celebration 2022.

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