Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Honors Diversity Leaders in Duluth

The 12th annual gala dinner raises funds for the memorial's scholarship program.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial is hosting a kick off gala leading up to the 100 year anniversary of the lynchings in Duluth.

Clayton Jackson McGhie used Saturday’s gala to continue spreading their message of diversity and inclusion especially leading up to 2020- the 100 year anniversary since the lynching of three African American men witnessed by 10 thousand people in Duluth, an event that sparked the creation of the memorial.

The dinner raised funds for CJM’s scholarship program and other programs that focus on growing together as a community.

“As human beings we are all connected, we are more the same than different so we just have to realize as people that we have to come together in solidarity and be with one another, not just coexist,” CJM co-chair Stephan Witherspoon said.

The gala also gave a special honor to UMD director of orchestra’s Rudy Perrault.

Perrault has traveled the world conducting and playing classical music. He is also the founder of the Kako Foundation, a program that offers free music lessons to kids. Perrault says he tries to be a role model for students, especially those of color, showing them that their dreams to be artists and musicians are achievable.

“I’m very humbled to receiving this honor because there’s so many other people in Duluth that are doing such great work,” Perrault said. “It’s also a little weird because, to be receiving an honor for something you love doing… We don’t do it for the honor, we do it because it’s the right thing.”

Perrault says artists will be the ones to save the world which is why he does what he does.

CJM says they’re bringing 10 thousand people back to Duluth to celebrate the idea of moving forward in 2020.

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