Central Minnesota’s breakfast and day of service honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. will feature remarks by author and journalist Wil Haygood and an on-site service project.
The free event is 8 a.m. Jan. 21 at River’s Edge Convention Center, St. Cloud.
Register by Jan. 18. Your registration confirmation is your ticket.
The event theme is captured by the social hashtags #StrongerTogether and #DreamTogether.
At the breakfast, participants can assemble Dream Packages filled with items such as wash cloths, socks, gloves, hats, deodorant, lip balm, feminine hygiene products, lotion, playing cards, tissues, crayons and small toys.
The packages will be shared with St. Cloud area people in need. Bring items with you or drop them off at Miller Center, Room 212B, by noon Jan. 18. Items should be small enough to fit inside a gallon food-storage bag.
Haygood, 64, is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist, biographer and cultural historian.
Among his books are “Showdown” (Vintage Books, 2015), about the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and “The King of the Cats” (Houghton Mifflin, 1993), a biography of the late American politician Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
Haygood’s 2008 Washington Post story, “A Butler Well Served By This Election,” was the basis of the 2013 film “The Butler.”
The program will include introductory remarks by Robbyn Wacker, St. Cloud State president, and a presentation on the history of diversity at St. Cloud State by Debra Leigh. Leigh is a professor and lead organizer of Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative (C.A.R.E.).
Leigh’s presentation will be supported by eight display panels of historical text and photos created by St. Cloud State history graduate student Kyle Imdieke and former St. Cloud State employee Marsha Shoemaker.
Two St. Cloud State music ensembles will perform. Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Terry Vermillion, will perform before the program. Concert Choir, under the direction of Matt Ferrell, will sing three songs.
Also speaking will be Annesa Cheek, president St. Cloud Technical and Community College; the Rev. Buddy King, pastor of Higher Ground Church of God in Christ; and Mary Hinton, president of the College of Saint Benedict.
Hinton’s remarks will set the stage for table conversations about community service. Those conversations will be facilitated by Community Champions such as: Dave Kleis ’89, St. Cloud mayor; Patti Gartland ’80, president of the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation; and Rachel Wexelbaum, St. Cloud State professor and member of the Regional Human Rights Commission.
During Haygood’s presentation, children ages five to 12 may join supervised educational activities in a room designated as the King’s Kids Room.
Winners of the Dexter R. Stanton Essay and Visual Art Contest will be recognized.
Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The breakfast begins at 8 a.m. Non-pork, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-friendly options will be available.
The Martin Luther King Breakfast and Day of Service is a signature event of the year-long St. Cloud State University Sesquicentennial Celebration.
The Sesquicentennial commemorates the University’s 150-year heritage of offering students an education that prepares them for life, work and citizenship in an intellectually vibrant, inclusive and diverse campus community.
Support for Sesquicentennial events is made possible in part by Granite Equity Partners (and its member companies Microbiologics, DeZurik and GeoComm) and Chartwells.
Other partners include the City of St. Cloud, CentraCare Health, Lutheran Social Services, HerArts In Action., First United Methodist Church, C.A.R.E. and Intervarsity.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of the late civil rights leader, Nobel Prize laureate, author and Baptist minister.