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Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Celebration to be held virtually Jan. 18

The Chippewa Valley will honor the life and work of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18, with a virtual event that includes history, training and education, culminating in a virtual community concert at Pablo Center at the Confluence.

The day of programming, titled the Chippewa Valley 2021 Martin Luther King Remembrance Celebration, will be livestreamed beginning at noon through Pablo Center and Facebook Live on the King Remembrance Program Facebook page. Community members can register on the Pablo Center site. Parts of the day’s events will be broadcast live on Converge Radio, 101.9 FM.

“This event will bring area residents together to celebrate their commitment toward a more united community enriched by its diversity,” says event organizer Dr. Selika Ducksworth-Lawton, president of sponsoring organization United Bridges and a University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire history professor.

The event is a collaboration among United Bridges, Pablo Center, Converge Radio, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout, Chippewa Valley Technical College, and the cities of Eau Claire and Altoona.

The celebration that includes readings, artwork, educational sessions, trainings, music and discussions begins at noon and concludes with the 7 p.m. community concert. Throughout the day, local experts will share their knowledge on topics ranging from the history of the Ku Klux Klan in the Chippewa Valley to panel discussions about race and religion. Community members will share their thoughts about building trust, unity and repairing relationships in the spirit of King’s message.

Community members can find out more about the Transformation Project, a regional anti-racist initiative intended to create an inclusive and affirming community for all people.

Artist pieces and statements will be presented throughout the day from a Pablo Center art exhibit, “Black Lives Matter — Silence Equals Violence.”

Events included throughout the day are:

  • 12:15 p.m.: 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.: 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.

For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page or contact Ducksworth-Lawton at 715-836-4886 or duckswsm@uwec.edu.