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Viterbo marks Martin Luther King holiday with yearly program of music and messages



Pastor Dr. Alexander Gee was the keynote speaker Viterbo University’s traditional celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Alexander Gee

Gee leads the Center for Black Experience and Culture in Madison.

He suggested during Monday’s speech at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center that the stresses resulting from racial inequity in the U.S. may be leading to higher illness rates among black people, including members of his family.

“I want people to understand that when we don’t eradicate the stress of race and racism and racialized living in our society, ” Gee said, “it’s killing a group of people who have built this country, and helped it to be what it is.”

Gee added that educating others about experiences of black people has helped create programs in his community focusing on black innovation, leadership development and black artistic expression.

“In two years, I was able to create an entity where the black community would shape this vision,” he said, “and our non-black partners helped me raise 25 million dollars, in two years.

Organizers of the King Day program at Viterbo also gave a leadership award to Will Van Roosenbeek, director of the Pride Center at UW-La Crosse and presented a scholarship to Onalaska High School student E’mya Martin.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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