Minnesota continues long tradition of MLK Day celebrations with renewed calls for justice

A 2020 MLK Day celebration in Minnesota.

The entire country took time Monday to reflect on the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

The state of Minnesota has a long tradition of marking the holiday by recognizing people and organizations that keep this civil rights dream alive.

Monday’s renewal of the annual event was a continued call for justice not just on the streets, but in the workplace and corporate c-suites.

In St. Paul, Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan presented the Civil Rights Champion Award to the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial in Duluth. The memorial serves as a way to teach about the lynching of three black men in 1920.

The Building the Future Award was presented to Tru-Art-Speaks and its founder Tish Jones, who empowers children to tell their stories through the spoken word and hip-hop.

Monday’s celebration was centered on the theme of “For Our Children.”

3M Global Chief Marketing Officer Remi Kent brought her son on stage with her to remind everyone about looking toward the future.

“When I look at him I see a gift, like so many parents do,” Kent said. “I believe the world is his to grab, but in order for that vision to be realized, we need all of us to remove racial barriers and injustice that will not allow children to reach their full potential.”

Jemela Pettiford brought down the roof of the Ordway Center with “Lift Every Voice.”

It was the state of Minnesota’s 34th annual celebration of Dr. King’s birthday.