Keynote speaker named for La Crosse’s MLK Jr. Day celebration

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — The committee behind the La Crosse Community Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration announced Thursday that Dr. Sylvia Hood Washington will give the keynote address at the Jan. 17 event.

Silvia Hood Washington

Dr. Silvia Hood Washington

Washington is an environmental epidemiologist, clinician and historian with more than 30 years of research into the impact of industrial pollution on human health. She will speak at the event, scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Threatre.

The live keynote address will be presented virtually. All other parts of the program, including the award presentations and musical performances, will be done in person.

The event will also include the MLK Leadership Award, which will go to Antoiwana Williams, director of the Office of Multicultural Student Services at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The Lynda Lowry Student Leadership Award will be presented to a local high school student. The award is named in honor of the youngest marcher in the historic 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. A special Dr. King Beloved Community recognition will be presented to Tashyra Jackson and Shamawyah Curtis, co-founders and co-directors of Hope Restores. Thomas Harris will also be recognized for his longtime outstanding service on the La Crosse Community Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration committee.

For more information on this community-wide celebration, visit

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