News Releases

Nov 29, 2011

Naomi Tutu keynote speaker for 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast


Tickets now on sale at

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.  -  Global human rights activist Naomi Tutu will share her passion for race and gender equality at the 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012.

Tickets for the breakfast, which will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, are now available at The event typically sells out each year, and will be broadcast live on Twin Cities Public Television. The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast is a partnership between the General Mills Foundation and UNCF (United Negro College Fund), which supports the education of more than 60,000 college students each year.  Dr. King was an alumnus of UNCF member institution Morehouse College.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast is an opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of the man and movement that not only changed civil rights laws for all Americans, but set in motion the drive for human rights reform worldwide. The theme of this year's breakfast is "Building Peace and Unity within the Global Community."

Tutu’s experience growing up black and female in apartheid South Africa led her to choose a career as an activist for human rights. According to Tutu, these early experiences taught her how much we all lose when any of us is judged purely on physical attributes.

She is the third child of Archbishop Desmond and Nomalizo Leah Tutu, and her professional experiences have ranged from serving as a development consultant in West Africa to a coordinator for programs on race and gender and gender-based violence in education at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town.

In 2011, Tutu became an ambassador of Join My Village. Join My Village is an innovative, online social change initiative facilitated by the humanitarian organization CARE with financial support from General Mills and Merck that seeks to empower women and girls in the developing world.

Tutu will be introduced by UNCF president and CEO Michael L. Lomax.

About the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast
The annual 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 now has grown so large that it reaches capacity seating at the Minneapolis Convention Center as one of the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday breakfasts in the nation. Past speakers have included Gen. Colin Powell, USA (Ret), Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Rev. Joseph Lowery, the late Yolanda King and U.S. Rep. John Lewis.

The 2011 breakfast will include a keynote presentation by Tutu, musical performances from The Steeles and Walker West Music Academy, and the presentation of the Local Legend and Emerging Legend community service awards.

As in past years, the St. Paul Area Council of Churches will host several simultaneous free breakfasts that allow guests to watch the Minneapolis event on television. More information on these sites is available at

Learn more about the 22nd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast by visiting

About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) 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 38 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 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. 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

About the General Mills Foundation
The mission of the General Mills Foundation, celebrating 57 years of giving, is to nourish communities.  Continuing its tradition of generous giving and global community support, General Mills contributed nearly $120 million to charitable causes in fiscal year 2011—up 18 percent from the previous year. We invest in and collaborate with community organizations and programs that unleash the power of food across a spectrum of social issues, including hunger, nutrition and healthy active lifestyles. 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 or visit us at

For more information, contact:

Maerenn Jepsen or Ann Merrill
General Mills