MINNEAPOLIS, MN — General Mills and UNCF’s 33rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast will return in-person for the first time since 2020 with a corresponding virtual program. Former senior advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama, businesswoman and best-selling author Valerie Jarrett will share keynote remarks followed by a moderated conversation with Minnesota attorney, legal and political analyst, Abou Amara. The hybrid event will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Jan. 16, 2023, from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. CST. Tickets are available at MLKBreakfast.com.
Organized by General Mills and United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the Minneapolis event is one of the nation’s largest celebrations of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and legacy and raises funds to help under-represented students in the Twin Cities successfully graduate from college. This year’s event theme is “Keep Moving Forward,” inspired by Dr. King’s leadership and lessons applied to the pressing social issues of today.
“Each year, this event gives us the opportunity to come together to reflect on the lasting legacy of Dr. King and how we can continue to advance the causes he fought for in our own communities,” said Mary Jane Melendez, Chief Sustainability and Global Impact Officer at General Mills. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to creating a world that reflects Dr. King’s dream and to advancing a culture of equity, inclusion and belonging.”
General Mills and UNCF have a shared, long-standing commitment to addressing the need for deep, lasting changes to the systemic inequity faced by BIPOC communities. In honor of Dr. King, a 1948 graduate of Morehouse College, a historically Black college, net proceeds from the event benefit UNCF Twin Cities’ MLK Legacy Scholarship, which supports local students of color to attend colleges and member Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU). Through this partnership, General Mills has provided nearly $7 million to support more than 400 programs and 37 academic institutions supported by UNCF.
“The legacy and words of Dr. King continue to inspire our advocacy for the importance of minority education and community engagement,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO of UNCF. “We are grateful to work in partnership with General Mills to bring our community together each year and build up the essential support and awareness for our students and HBCUs.”
The annual holiday breakfast and support of UNCF remains a priority for General Mills as part of its enterprise-wide “G Stands for Good” purpose platform, which is rooted in two foundational pillars – planet and people – and guides the company’s goal of creating meaningful change, building a culture of belonging and taking action on issues of racial and social justice within our communities.
Community Engagement Opportunities
The MLK Holiday Breakfast in Minneapolis continues to inspire change in the world and honor those individuals whose footprints uplift the community. Following the breakfast, members of the Twin Cities community can engage through a variety of learning and volunteer opportunities organized by Hands on Twin Cities. Learn more at https://www.handsontwincities.org/mlkday2023.
About Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett is Chief Executive Officer and a member of the board of directors of the Barack Obama Foundation. She is also a Senior Distinguished Fellow at The University of Chicago Law School and serves as Board Chairman of Civic Nation and Co-Chair of The United State of Women.
Ms. Jarrett was the Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama from 2009-2017, making her the longest serving senior advisor to a president in history. She oversaw the Offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs and Chaired the White House Council on Women and Girls. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book Finding My Voice: My Journey to the West Wing and the Path Forward, published in April 2019.
Entertainment at the 2023 MLK Breakfast
Entertainment will be provided by Minnesota’s four-sibling family band, NUNNABOVE. The group describes their sound as “positive alternative pop,” and appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2018. The group has since performed at Summerfest, the largest outdoor venue in the country and the Minnesota State Fair.
The event will also feature Minneapolis-based TKO Drumline and KnockOut Dance Team, a dynamic musical group made up of young people from the north metro and north Minneapolis. The group was founded in 2010 by Byron Hawkins to teach drumming techniques and rudiments to young people ages 8-18. Since then, the group has performed on stages as small as the Minnesota State Fair and as large as the Superbowl.
The annual holiday breakfast began when UNCF and General Mills joined together in 1991 to host a community celebration to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Past speakers include Dr. Bernice King, Ambassador Andrew Young, the Honorable Eric H. Holder, CNN’s Laura Coates and Don Lemon, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, actor David Oyelowo, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Rev. Joseph Lowery, the late Yolanda King, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Marian Wright Edelman, Donna Brazile, Vernon Jordan and former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
This event is made possible by co-hosts General Mills and UNCF, and presenting sponsor Best Buy. Additional support has been generously provided by 3M, Ameriprise, Andersen Corporation, BI Worldwide, Cargill, Carlson Family Foundation, CHS, Delta Dental of Minnesota, Ecolab, Medtronic, Medtronic Foundation, Minnesota Timberwolves & Lynx, North Memorial, Pentair, Pohlad Companies, Sleep Number, Target, Thrivent, United Health Group, Wells Fargo, and Xcel Energy.
To purchase tickets for the hybrid event or for more information, visit MLKBreakfast.com. All proceeds from ticket sales and sponsorships will be dedicated to UNCF Twin Cities student scholarships. For the first time, both in-person and virtual tickets will be available to better accommodate the participation preferences of all attendees. The live and virtual events also strive to provide accessible experiences for all and will include an ASL interpreter and closed-caption translations in four languages, respectively.
G Stands for Good
General Mills stands for good – for the people we serve, the brands you love and the planet we depend on. For more than 150 years, General Mills has believed doing good and good business go hand-in-hand. The company is putting people first by improving food security and advancing a culture of inclusion, equity and belonging, and by creating positive planetary outcomes through actions beyond its walls. Learn more at GeneralMills.com/gstandsforgood.
About General Mills
Mollie Wulff, General Mills