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POSTPONED: Viterbo’s Martin Luther King Jr. event until 7 p.m. Tuesday



The 68-year-old being given the MLK Community Leader award at Viterbo tonight.

He calls it the most important award in his life. 

Tonight, John Medinger will be receiving the the Martin Luther King Jr., Community Leader award during a 7 p.m. ceremony at Viterbo University Fine Arts Center.

He’s thrilled to get it. But it is also a reminder that his work fighting for equality isn’t close to finished.

“I’m 68 years old,” the former La Crosse Mayor said. “When I was 18 – 50 years ago – I thought all these problems would have been solved a long time ago. And, frankly, in some ways, we’re worse off now than we were 50 years ago, and that makes me very sad.”

Medinger calls the award the greatest honor he’s received – a recognition for a life spent fighting for equality.

“There’s a lot of folks – Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, Native Americans, poor white folks and all kinds of other people – that have been largely ignored or treated badly by other people and the government and I’ve made it my life’s work to try and get them the equality they deserve,” Medinger said.

Medinger believes there’s a lot left to do – almost more now as the U.S. has gone backwards in equality and discrimination issues.  

“You gotta keep working at it,” he said. “You gotta do the Lord’s work and the work of trying to help people. That’s what we’re here for.

“We’ll keep plugging away and hopefully one of these days we’ll make the world a better place.”



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