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Southwest Minnesota State University will commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday, Jan. 20 with an event entitled “Now is the Needed Time,” from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Charter Hall 201 on campus.

The event will feature the Twin Cities Gospel Choir, keynote speaker Leslie-Burl McLemore and a local children’s choir.

The multi-cultural group Twin Cities Gospel Choir started in 1990 with its first-place win at the Minnesota State Fair. The following year, the choir presented 13 concerts at the Minnesota State Fair and had its first professional studio recording. They now travel to serve and uplift communities by using gospel music to inspire audiences with a message of hope, joy, and harmony.

McLemore is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Jackson State University and a veteran of the southern Civil Rights movement. As a Rust College student, he was the founding president of the College chapter of the NAACP. In 1997, McLemore and several colleagues formed the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and democracy. Its mission is to engage primary and secondary schools in the exploration of the Civil Right Movement. It has also sponsored 11 successful summer institutes for teachers and students on the Southern Civil Rights Movement.

The local children’s choir will be comprised of youth from the area ages 6-12. They will perform uplifting music and create a mural to share the legacy of Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. For more information about the children’s choir, contact Darwin Dyce at 507-476-2042.

For more information please contact the SMSU Office of Diversity and Inclusion at (507) 537-7382 or by emailing

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