Supporters of the 27th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast in Minneapolis on Monday say they already have raised more than $130,000 in scholarship funds for the United Negro College Fund (UNCF).

For the first time, this year’s breakfast, organized by the General Mills Foundation and UNCF, will be an official fundraiser benefiting the local chapter of UNCF and deserving low-income Minnesota students.

The sold-out event for about 2,000 attendees at the Minneapolis Convention Center will feature keynote speaker Myrlie Evers-Williams, civil rights leader and wife of murdered civil rights activist Medgar Evers.  The evnt will be broadcast live on Twin Cities Public TV at 8 a.m.

“Ms. Evers-Williams has exemplified what it means to be a civil rights leader and a role model,” said CEO Michael Lomax of UNCF, who will introduce her at the event. “After tragically losing her husband Medgar, she fought to bring his killer to justice and continued his civil rights work with the NAACP. She is a great inspiration to all of us to never give up the fight for justice.”

In June 1963, Medgar Evers was shot to death in front of his home in Jackson, Miss, by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. Two all-white juries could not reach a verdict in the case. Evers-Williams helped keep the case alive for nearly 30 years and De La Beckwith was eventually convicted of murder by a multi-racial jury in 1994.

For the third year, the Corporate Community Service Coalition will play a key role.  Hundreds of coalition employees from 14 Minnesota companies are coming together to volunteer on MLK Day and throughout the week at food banks, homeless shelters, meals programs, community centers and more. The coalition is supported by HandsOn Twin Cities and participating companies include: 3M, Accenture, Best Buy, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cargill, Faegre Baker Daniels, General Mills, Land O’Lakes, Medtronic, Mortenson, Minnesota State Government, Target, Thrivent and U.S. Bank.

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