General Information
Date: January 21, 2019
Time: 7:00 a.m. CST
Location: The Armory
500 South 6th St,
Minneapolis, MN
Keynote: Don Lemon
Parking: Parking

Broadcast Schedule:
Watch the MLK Breakfast LIVE on Twin Cities PBS (tpt2) at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, January 21, 2019, rebroadcast statewide at 8 PM that night on TPT's Minnesota Channel (tptMN), or stream it online at

Nine neighborhoods.
Nine ways to celebrate.

Can't attend the MLK Breakfast at the Armory? Register to attend an MLK Breakfast in your community:

These neighborhood celebrations are coordinated by the Interfaith Action of Greater Saint Paul

Sponsorship opportunities are available!

    • If interested, please contact Laverne McCartney Knighton at UNCF.
  • Lifetime Local Legend

    The Honorable Michael J. Davis

    Michael J. Davis

    For 45 years United States Judge Michael J. Davis has had a passion for equal access and equal justice for all.

    His lifelong commitment to and pursuit of equal access and equal justice for all began with his work with the Legal Rights Center. Under the tutelage of Doug Hall, Willie Mae Dixon, Clyde Bellecourt and Jim Krieger, Judge Davis perfected his legal skills to serve the voiceless and underrepresented in our society. His commitment continued through his work at the Neighborhood Justice Center, Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office, and throughout his 11 years as a State Court Judge in Hennepin County.

    This flame burned bright as the editor in chief of the comprehensive and influential Minnesota Supreme Court Racial Bias Task Force report issued in 1993.

    In 1993, Senator Paul Wellstone, with the backing of attorney Ken Tilsen, submitted Judge Davis’s name to President Bill Clinton. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Judge Davis to the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. He is the first African American judge appointed to the District and, in 2008, he became the first African American Chief Judge of the District of Minnesota.

    During his 21 years as a United States district judge, Judge Davis has handled many high profile and complex cases, including multi-district litigation. Judge Davis has had five cases decided by the United States Supreme Court, including the Mille Lacs fishing and treaty rights case.

    In 1999, United States Chief Justice Rehnquist appointed Judge Davis for a seven year term on the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

    Judge Davis’s commitment to equal access and equal justice has been seen in his handling of individuals appearing before him in court and in the broader projects he initiated during his tenure. As Chief Judge, Judge Davis was instrumental in forming the Pro Se Project with the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association to provide civil pro se litigants with free attorneys. During his tenure as Chief Judge, Judge Davis expanded the Court’s ABA award winning community outreach programs. Other programs include Dred and Harriet Scott – Legacy of Courage and Freedom; Lawyers Without Rights: Jewish Lawyers in Germany Under the Third Reich; Freedom Riders: Tour of the National Traveling Exhibit and Reception; In Her Honor: Celebrating Minnesota Women in the Law Exhibit; The Asian Pacific Legal Experience in America: Opportunity, Economics, Racism and Hope; Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP; the Native American Treaty Rights Project: Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government of the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations; and the upcoming Hispanic Legal Experience in Minnesota.

    His legal leadership in Minnesota is widely recognized in the state. The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) has established a law student scholarship in Judge Davis’s name and has also given him the organization’s President’s Award. Judge Davis has also been bestowed with the William Mitchell College of Law Distinguished Service Award; the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. Campaign for Legal Aid Lifetime Leadership Award; the Trailblazer Award from the Minneapolis Urban League; and the Omar Bonderud Human Rights Award from the City of Bloomington.

    Judge Davis has given commencement addresses at the University of Minnesota Law School, William Mitchell College of Law, and Macalester College. Macalester College has also bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree upon Judge Davis. The Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association honored the leadership of Chief Judge Davis by producing a 20-minute video tribute to him.

    Judge Davis has lectured in Egypt, Uganda, Senegal and Kosovo. With the help of Representative Keith Ellison, Judge Davis convinced the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to send a number of their judges to the United States to learn about our system of justice.

    Judge Davis is a graduate of Macalester College and the University of Minnesota Law School where he taught trial practice for 30 years. Judge Davis is married to attorney Sara Wahl and they have two sons. Mike II is a community organizer and is now attending the Hubert Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and Alex is a graduate of William Mitchell College of Law and is a law clerk for Judge Pamela Alexander.

    Judge Davis’s unparalleled work ethic, attention to detail, unique background and impressive achievements have had a profound impact on the citizens of the State of Minnesota.