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Austin celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King

The annual Austin Human Rights Commission celebration will take place on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Noted human rights activist Naomi Tutu — daughter of Desmond Tutu — will give the keynote speech at 7 p.m. Monday at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre at Riverland Community College. The event is free and open to the public.

Several Austin residents will be honored for their human rights contributions this year. The honorees are:

—Mower County Attorney Kristen Nelsen, Assistant Attorney Jeremy Clinefelter, Austin Police Chief Brian Krueger and Captain Dave McKichan for their leadership in Mower County’s policy to not prosecute undocumented residents if they are the victim of a crime.

—Danielle Borgerson-Nesvold, head of Community Against Bullying, who helped start CAB in February and brought in international speaker The Scary Guy to Austin schools in October to promote peace and combat bullying.

—Jennifer Lloyd, a Sumner Elementary School Spanish teacher and Constellations program coordinator for her diversity work at Sumner.

—Carolyn and Dr. Fred Bogott, who have helped many international scientists at The Hormel Institute through their mentorship program.

—Riverland Community College’s Amnesty International group, which has organized several events highlighting local and global human rights causes, including the Ciudad Juarez murders and homosexual intolerance.

In addition, Austin schools will kick off several service projects including a book drive for local, national and international children.

Residents are encouraged to drop off books at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre, where the MLK Jr. celebration will take place. The event starts at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16.