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Jan 20, 2014

Donna Brazile emphasizes the importance of service at the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast

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MINNEAPOLIS – Today, Donna Brazile, well-known political commentator, strategist and author, encouraged the audience at this year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast to judge success not by wealth, but by the quality of service to others.

“Dr. King said we can never be satisfied, we can never turn back,” said Brazile. “Let us increase our service to others. Let us add to the charity we give. Let us exhibit gratitude. Let us expect more of ourselves than we do others. And, let us not be satisfied until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

In her remarks to a sold-out audience at the Minneapolis Convention Center, Brazile focused on the theme, “Reimagine the Future.” Brazile urged the audience not to delay but to “seize the time before it slips from our minds.” She said emancipation today can be achieved through immigration reform, voting rights, economic equality, the end of gun violence and healthcare for all.

She went on to say: “Dr. King believed we could never walk alone. Us versus them tears us apart. We don’t have to agree with each other, but we have to respect each other. Dr. King said: ‘What affects one in a major way, affects all in a minor way.’”

Brazile was instrumental in passing legislation that recognizes MLK Day as a national holiday. She worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000, when she was the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign. An adjunct professor at Georgetown University, Brazile has lectured at over 125 colleges and universities around the country on such topics as “Inspiring Civility in American Politics” and “Race Relations in the Age of Obama.” She appears regularly on CNN and ABC News and is a columnist for Universal Uclick, Ms. Magazine and O, The Oprah Magazine. She is also the author of the best-selling memoir, Cooking with Grease: Stirring the Pots in American Politics.

Brazile is the founder and managing director of Brazile & Associates LLC, a general consulting, grassroots advocacy and training firm in Washington, D.C. She is also working for the full recovery of her beloved city of New Orleans.

“Dr. King so eloquently shared a vision for our future in his “I Have a Dream” speech. Fifty years later we have made great progress, yet we have so far to go,” said Tiffanie Boyd, chair of the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast committee and human resources vice president at General Mills.  “Today, we are challenged to ‘Reimagine the Future’ and take action – action that will make a difference in the life of another person, an entire community, or even our nation.”

Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO of UNCF, also spoke at the breakfast, saying: “There could not be a better time than the 85th anniversary of Dr. King’s birth to think about how we can live up to the example he set for us. This breakfast, and the 24 year partnership between UNCF and General Mills, is an important investment in better futures for our young people and for all of us who will benefit from their education.”

The Convention Center was filled this morning with the sounds of musical performances from Darnell Davis & The Remnant as well as the MacPhail Community Youth Choir.

The breakfast was broadcast live on Twin Cities Public Television and will be rebroadcast on the statewide Minnesota channel during the remainder of January and early February. It is also available online at www.tpt.org/mlk.

The program also included the presentation of Local Legend community service awards to Robin Hickman, CEO and executive producer of SoulTouch Productions, and Craig Luedemann, executive director and co-founder of YouthCARE. Both were recognized as outstanding community leaders who represent Dr. King’s vision and legacy.

During the breakfast,  Ellen Goldberg Luger, General Mills vice president and General Mills Foundation executive director, encouraged the audience to “Reimagine the Future” through good works in the community. Volunteer opportunities are available online for those inspired to take action.

As in the past, the St. Paul Area Council of Churches hosted six simultaneous, free community breakfasts in St. Paul, West St. Paul, Mahtomedi, Duluth and River Falls, Wis., that allow guests to watch the event live together on television.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast began when UNCF and the General Mills Foundation joined together to host a community celebration to honor the legacy of Dr. King. What started with 800 guests in 1991, has grown to be one of the largest King holiday breakfasts in the nation. Past speakers have included Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret.), Naomi Tutu, Cory Booker, the late Yolanda King, U.S. Rep. John Lewis and last year’s speaker, Marian Wright Edelman.

Learn more about the 24th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast by visiting MLKBreakfast.com.

 


ABOUT THE UNITED NEGRO COLLEGE FUND

 

UNCF is the nation's largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students' education and development through scholarships and other programs, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 percent of African-American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. In its nearly 70-year history, the UNCF has raised more than $3.6 billion to help more than 400,000 students. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at UNCF.org.

ABOUT THE GENERAL MILLS FOUNDATION

The mission of the General Mills Foundation is to nourish communities.  Continuing its tradition of generous giving and global community support, General Mills contributed more than $150 million to charitable causes in fiscal year 2013.  General Mills invests in and collaborates with community organizations and programs that focus on alleviating hunger, advancing nutrition wellness and improving education.  In addition, 83 percent of U.S. employees volunteer.  To learn more about the ways General Mills nourishes lives through philanthropy and community engagement, please join us on Facebook at Facebook.com/GeneralMillsGives or visit us at GeneralMills.com/en/Responsibility/Community_Engagement.