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Wisconsin Observes Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Wisconsin's annual ceremony to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. is the oldest state celebration in the nation. (Wikimedia Commons)
Wisconsin's annual ceremony to honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. is the oldest state celebration in the nation. (Wikimedia Commons)
January 15, 2018

MADISON, Wis. – With speeches, music, and awards, Wisconsin's official state observation of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will begin at noon in the Capitol rotunda in Madison.

This year's theme is "Do You Remember," featuring remarks from Milwaukee native Muhibb Dyer, who founded an organization dedicated to empowering youth.

While the nation has made progress in attempting to achieve racial equality, the president and CEO of the Urban League of Madison, Ruben Anthony, says there are troubling signs that the nation may be sliding backward in achieving that goal.

"People need to stand together in a peaceful way, in the way that Dr. King encouraged, and that we need to say, 'There's no turning back now,'” he states. “There is no turning back now. As a nation, we've come too far to turn back."

The Martin Luther King branch of the Milwaukee Public Library will again host a full day of activities honoring King’s life and legacy.

Activities include music, poetry, dance and community service events.

In recent years, a number of studies have concluded that Wisconsin is one of the worst states in the nation for racial disparity between whites and African-Americans.

Anthony says Wisconsin needs to focus on greater access to jobs, job training and higher education for African-Americans.

"We have to create greater access to opportunities for our women and minority owned businesses,” he stresses. “If we don't do those things, I think we will continue to be described as a state that's not making much progress, or a state where there's much disparity among the races."

Wisconsin's annual ceremony to honor King’s legacy is the oldest official state celebration in the nation.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI