State, city leaders say MLK Day 'presents an opportunity' to mirror Dr. King's vision

MILWAUKEE -- Hundreds of Wisconsin leaders took part in the 23rd annual Martin Luther King Junior celebration breakfast on Monday morning, Jan. 20. It is the largest MLK event in Wisconsin.

"Martin Luther King Jr. Day presents an opportunity for us to take stock in how far we've come towards Dr. King's vision of inclusion, racial equality and justice," said Governor Tony Evers.

Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson

"It just shows that people gravitate towards the message of Dr. King," said Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson.

As the leaders broke bread over Dr. King's legacy, those who spoke highlighted some areas where the state can do a better job.

"We've got some very serious racial, economic, housing, employment issues in many of our neighborhoods," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

MLK Breakfast in Milwaukee

MLK Breakfast in Milwaukee

Barrett talked about the uptick in infant mortality among African American babies -- and how the community can help address that issue.

"Take a look at the city map and say, where can I put jobs so that people who need the jobs can get there without a 45-minute commute," Barrett said.

Gov. Evers reminded people everyone has a unique story -- and those differences should be celebrated.

"Let us also commit every day to working together to build a Wisconsin that is more equitable, more just and inclusive for all Wisconsinites," Evers said.

"Use your own life to be impactful in other people's lives -- just like Dr. King did," Johnson said.

In addition to hearing from local leaders, several Milwaukee-area students performed their award-winning speeches to honor Dr. King.