Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C. Photo: Wikimedia Commons License
Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, “I Have a Dream,” speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C. Photo: Wikimedia Commons License

Minnesota and the nation will officially mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 15, but some activities will start as early as this weekend as the state and community groups organize both service and commemorative events in honor of the revered civil rights leader.

Here are some of the events Mshale is aware of.

Of note is the big MLK Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center hosted by General Mills to benefit the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) which is back fully in-person with no hybrid option like last year.

This week Mshale spoke with Ms. Laverne McCartney Knighton, UNCF’s development director based in the Twin Cities, covering Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota. She said they expect over 2,500 people for the breakfast, the pre-pandemic attendance number, in the absence of a virtual option.

To add your organization’s event, send us an email at [email protected].

January 13, 2024 – Day of Service

Various organizations around the state are hosting events to commemorate MLK Day as a day of service. The Council on the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has a list of participating organizations where you can look up what is on offer. You can view the list for an organization near you at this PDF.

January 14, 2024 – 43rd Annual U of M Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert @ 3 p.m.

This year’s concert theme, “The March Continues,” builds upon last year’s theme, which marked the 60th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Event is FREE. Event link is here.

This year’s concert will also feature MARTIN, a life-size fabricated structure capped by a hand-cast 40 lb. bronze bell created by local artist Bill Jeter.

Location: Ted Mann Concert Hall. 2128 Fourth Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55455

January 15, 2024 – 34th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast @ 7:30 a.m.

This annual breakfast honors the legacy of the late civil rights leader and is one of the nation’s largest. It is presented by General Mills and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) to raise funds to fund college scholarships for Twin Cities students. According to Ms. Laverne McCartney Knighton, Twin Cities-based UNCF’s development director, the local office has been able to raise close to $1 million for Twin Cities students.

Location: Minneapolis Convention Center, Exhibit Hall A, 1301 2nd Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403

Ticket link: Keynote Speaker: Ms. Marley Dias.

January 15, 2024 – Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association MLK Celebration @ 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This MLK event will mark Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association’s 26th year honoring the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration will feature several performing artists, community partners driving clear examples of equity forward work, a complimentary lunch, fun-filled gift boxes for kids, and an overall experience founded on the principles and beliefs upheld by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. More information and lineup of events can be found at

Location: Powderhorn Recreation Center. 3400 15th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55407.

January 15, 2024 – 38th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration hosted by Governor Walz and Lieutenant Governor Flanagan @ 10:30 a. m. (Doors will open at 9:30 a.m.)

This is the official State of Minnesota event honoring the civil rights leader. Event is free and open to the public with seating on a first come basis. The 2024 Champion of Change Award recipients will also be recognized.

Keynote Speaker: Caroline A. Wanga, CEO of Essence, and special guest Houston White Jr.

Location: Ordway Center for the performing Arts. 345 Washington Street Saint Paul, MN 55102.

January 15, 2024 – National Day of Racial Healing @ 4 p.m.

Event is FREE but registration is required. Register at this link.

The city, schools, and community education of St. Louis Park are partnering to host the second annual National Day of Racial Healing Event. This program is an opportunity for children, teens, neighbors, and community members to learn about each other’s diverse backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and lived experiences.

Registered participants are requested to contribute to the STEP food donation drive by bringing non-perishable food items with them to the event.

Greater Minnesota Events

January 13-17, 2024 – St. Cloud, Minnesota (Various Events & Locations)

The celebration in St. Cloud is a multi-day celebration in various locations starting with a family celebration on Saturday, Jan. 13, a community breakfast on MLK Day featuring keynote speaker Lee Hawkins, an investigative journalist whose work documents the lives of Black American descendants of slavery and the intergenerational impact of racial violence and racism.

Some, but not all, require preregistration.

Details/Registration: St. Cloud MLK Celebration website.

January 15, 2024 – We Have a Dream Celebration 2024 in Rochester, MN @ 8:30 a.m.

The morning portion of the program hosted by NAACP Rochester Branch MN in partnership with Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce will take place at the Mayo Civic Center and feature complimentary breakfast, spoken words from the youth and featured keynote speaker and Call to Action from Rochester Branch NAACP President Walé Elegbede.

Keynote Speaker: Justin Terrell, Executive Director of Minnesota Justice Research Center.

Location: Mayo Civic Center. 30 Civic Center Dr SE, Rochester, MN 55904.

Additional Community-wide activities hosted by the Rochester Branch of the NAACP:
10:30am – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom March Rally (First Floor of the Mayo Civic Center)
11:30 a.m. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom March
12:00 p.m. – Community Peoples Program (Rochester Civic Theater)
1:00pm – Commemorative Celebration and Birthday Party (Rochester Civic Theater)

More details: Visit the Rochester, Minnesota NAACP Branch website.

January 15, 2024 – MLK Day March & Rally in Duluth, MN @ 10:30 a.m.

The Duluth, Minnesota NAACP is leading the organizing of a series of events to honor and carry on the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

March Location @ 10:30 a.m.: Gather at Family Freedom Center (Washington Center Gymnasium) – Entrance between 3rd and 4th Street on 1st Ave West; March will begin on Lake Street between 3rd and 4th Avenue.

Rally Location @ 12 p.m.: DECC-Symphony Hall; 350 Harbor Drive, Duluth

More details: Visit the Duluth, Minnesota NAACP Branch website.


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