Rev. William J. Barber to deliver keynote address on MLK Jr. Day

LA CROSSE , Wis. (WKBT) – A highly sought-after speaker is delivering a keynote address for Viterbo University’s La Crosse Community Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day.

Rev. William Joseph Barber II will deliver the free virtual address on Monday, January 18 at 7 p.m. from Facebook Live. Barber is an award-winning American Protestant minister and political activist who has presented at hundreds of conferences across the country, and who regularly appears on national media outlets for his expertise in civil rights.

Rev. Barber is co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, a movement launched by MLK in 1968 that strives to gain economic justice for all Americans. He is also the president and senior lecturer of Repairers of the Breach, architect of the Moral Monday Movement, and pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Following an especially difficult year, including systemic disparities exposed by the pandemic and ongoing political tensions, organizers hope Rev. Barber’s address can bring new perspective to our community.

“This year in particular, I think we need to be even more dedicated to those who have been more negatively impacted than those of us who have been fortunate enough to keep our jobs and our homes,” said Professor of Ethics, Culture & Society at Viterbo University, Keith Knutson.

Rev. Barber’s keynote address is only the beginning of a packed celebration. New to this year’s event is the MLK Day of Service, Learning, and Celebration. Viterbo University will honor Martin Luther King Jr. with a day dedicated to engagement opportunities for learning, service, and advocacy with the underrepresented and marginalized communities in the Coulee Region and beyond.

The MLK Leadership Award, and the Lynda Lowry Student Leadership Award will be presented to recognize outstanding members of our community who demonstrate Dr. King’s legacy of positive change from generation to generation. A Special recognition will also honor Rev. Calvin Morris, a local civil rights advocate who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rev. Jesse Jackson.

To see a full schedule for the 8th Annual La Crosse Community Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Day visit Viterbo University’s website.