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Nov 23rd

Three community leaders named 2008 local legends

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Three Twin Cities residents were recently named as 2008 Local Legends for their community service efforts that exemplify the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Local Legends were honored Jan. 21 at the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center, hosted by the United Negro College Fund and the General Mills Foundation. The sold-out event featured journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault as this year's keynote speaker.
Richard Copeland, Art Erickson and Darcel Hill

Three Twin Cities residents were recently named as 2008 Local Legends for their community service efforts that exemplify the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Local Legends were honored Jan. 21 at the 18th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center, hosted by the United Negro College Fund and the General Mills Foundation. The sold-out event featured journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault as this year's keynote speaker.

The three honorees, Richard Copeland, Art Erickson and Darcel Hill, are actively involved in the community and demonstrate King's six steps for nonviolent social change: information gathering, education, personal commitment, negotiation, direct action and reconciliation.

Richard Copeland is a business leader and volunteer deeply committed to changing economic disparities in the Twin Cities. His two companies – Thor Construction and Copeland Truc-King, are designed to develop individuals and minority-owned businesses. He has served on many local boards and mentored minority business owners. Beyond advice, he has provided loans and advance payments to help minority-owned companies succeed.

Art Erickson has been strengthening communities in south Minneapolis for more than forty years. He has served as an ordained minister at Park Avenue United Methodist Church, as president of the Park Avenue Urban Program and Leadership Foundation, and is co-founder and chief executive officer of Urban Ventures. Established in 1993, Urban Ventures is a faith-based nonprofit dedicated to community development and the transformation of the impoverished Phillips and Central neighborhoods of south Minneapolis. The organization serves more than 2,500 people each year.

Darcel Hill, an academic advisor at the College of Arts and Science at Metropolitan State University, has committed her life to proving that education has the power to change lives. Through three decades of work, Hill has made a difference in the lives of thousands of students of color. She's developed after-school programs and created college-access programs for teens and young adults. Hill has also established motivational workshops and parenting empowerment classes.

The three honorees were showcased in a video that was shown at the MLK Jr. Holiday Breakfast. They also received their awards at the event, which was hosted by the UNCF and the General Mills Foundation.
 

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