After Unity Walk, program in Kiehle Auditorium will feature a variety of entertainment

    The 7th Annual Red River Valley Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will be held on Monday, Jan. 21 at the University of Minnesota Crookston. This year’s event is partnering with the Minnesota Humanities Council for the kick-off of the “We are Water” exhibit, which will run through March 4.

    The day’s activities begin at 10:30 a.m. with the annual Unity Walk beginning at the Crookston Inn and ending at the Kiehle Building on campus. This year's grand marshal for the Unity Walk is Bishop Michael R. Cole of Gospel Outreach Ministries Church of God in Christ in Grand Forks. A celebration program in Kiehle Auditorium will follow the walk with an opening selection by an American Indian drum group under the direction of Emery St. John from Fargo.

    Highlighting the program are remarks by Jennifer Tonko, program officer with the Minnesota Humanities Center, greetings by UMN Crookston Chancellor Mary Holz-Clause, student leaders, and elected officials. A variety of performances will take place, including excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech read by UMN Crookston international students in various languages, traditional dances, among others. The keynote address will be given by Shirley Nordrum, University of Minnesota Extension Educator in water resources management for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Furthermore, the "Tatanka Nagi," Spirit of the Buffalo, Drum Group with Emery St. John from Fargo will be performing along with the Epic Praise Team from Grand Forks, and a solo by alumna Dr. Kari Torkelson singing the Negro Spiritual "Precious Lord, Take My Hand."

    To conclude the program, the recipient of the Spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., Diversity Award will be announced, followed at 12:30 p.m., by a lunch social in Brown Dining Room, Sahlstrom Conference Center.