News Releases

Dec 03, 2012

Marian Wright Edelman will deliver keynote address for 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast


Tickets now on sale at

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), will deliver the keynote speech at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.

Tickets for the breakfast, which will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, are now available at 

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast is a partnership between the General Mills Foundation and UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and is an opportunity to celebrate the life and legacy of the man and movement that changed civil rights laws for all Americans.

As in the past, the breakfast will be broadcast live on Twin Cities Public Television.

The theme of this year's breakfast is "Education – The Fierce Urgency of Now.”

Edelman is in a unique position to deliver an address on this relevant topic given her experience leading CDF and her life-long dedication to advocating for disadvantaged Americans.

A graduate of Spelman College and Yale Law School, she began her career in the mid-60s when, as the first black woman admitted to the Mississippi bar, she directed the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund office in Jackson, Miss. In 1968, she moved to Washington, D.C. as counsel for the Poor People’s Campaign that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began organizing before his death.

Under her leadership, CDF has become one of America’s strongest voices for children and families.

Edelman 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 2013 breakfast will include a keynote presentation by Edelman, musical performances from Ann Nesby and Greater Praise, and the presentation of the Local Legend community service awards.

During the breakfast, the audience will be encouraged to commit to volunteer in the spirit of Dr. King and will be asked to make a pledge about their service in the coming year by filling out a commitment card. Commitment cards are also available online.

General Mills employees will commemorate the day by participating in a number of onsite volunteer opportunities.

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

Learn more about the 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast by visiting

For More Information, Contact:
Maerenn Jepsen
General Mills

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 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. 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

The mission of the General Mills Foundation, celebrating 58 years of giving, is to nourish communities.  Continuing its tradition of generous giving and global community support, General Mills contributed more than $143 million to charitable causes in fiscal year 2012.  General Mills invests in and collaborates with community organizations and programs that focus on alleviating hunger, advancing nutrition wellness and improving K-12 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 or visit us online.