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Dr. King celebration to feature civil rights leader Lynda Blackmon Lowery

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Having marched from Selma to Montgomery alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Lynda Blackmon Lowery brings her lifetime of civil rights experience to a free community event honoring Dr. King's legacy.

Open to all at no charge, the event in the Fine Arts Center will honor three award recipients this year. In addition to this year's Lynda Blackmon Lowery Student Leadership honoree, Tracy Littlejohn will receive the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award and new this year, Irv Balto earns the "Drum Major" Legacy Award Winner.

Balto said he's honored to be recognized for his lifelong work as a community activist for issues such as the rights of those who suffered domestic abuse and currently working to promote the rights of Muslims in the area with the Interfaith Shoulder to Shoulder Network.

He added that everyone involved in this community celebration deserves recognition as a "drum major" -- hearkening back to Dr. King's call for all to lead from a position of love.

Balto said he looks forward to Blackmon Lowery's message at the event. He hopes she touches on all the history of the civil rights movement and her firsthand perspective while calling for current leaders to "pass the torch" to the younger generations.

Viterbo University will host the 2020 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration on Monday, Jan. 20. Doors open at 6:15 pm, and the program begins at 7 pm.

Dustin Luecke

Dustin Luecke anchors News 19 Daybreak weekday mornings.

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