UPDATE: Cancelled: Civil rights activist to speak Tuesday at Minnesota West
Update: This event has been cancelled as Leslie McLemore is unable to attend.
WORTHINGTON — Civil rights activist Leslie McLemore has visited the Minnesota West Community and Technical College Worthington campus several times to share with students the stories of the America’s turbulent times. Now, he is returning for a public presentation, “In the Spirit of MLK … Voices of Unity.”
McLemore, of Jackson, Miss., will speak at noon Tuesday at the Minnesota West Fine Arts Theater. The event is free and open to students, faculty, staff and the public. Following his presentation, there will be time for questions from the audience.
McLemore became involved in the civil rights movement and student activism in the early 1960s. He was a member and activist for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He has participated in voter registration drives and served as the northern regional coordinator for the Freedom Vote campaign in 1963.
Dan Roos, dean of liberal arts at Minnesota West, is one of a handful of Minnesota West faculty members in recent years to attend a week-long seminar featuring McLemore. The focal point of McLemore’s talks have been on American democracy, from Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Strike.
“When he’s been here in the past, he’s always had a subject that’s relevant to the times,” Roos said. “He relates well to young people.”
Prior to his noontime talk, McLemore will speak to students in the sociology classes at Minnesota West.
Roos said McLemore “gushes enthusiasm for people” and encourages all to attend Tuesday’s presentation. Limited seating is anticipated.
McLemore earned his master's degree in political science and a doctorate in government from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. A former city council member in Jackson, Miss., he is now vice chairman of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. In addition, he is a professor of political science at Jackson State University and director of the Fannie Lou Hamer National Institute on Citizenship and Democracy.
Tuesday’s event is sponsored through a collaboration of Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota West Worthington campus and the Culture Corner.