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Launched in 2014 by journalist Sean Baker, Med City Beat is an independent news source covering government, business and culture in Rochester, Minnesota.

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Rochester to rename East Park in honor of MLK

Rochester to rename East Park in honor of MLK

Rochester is honoring Martin Luther King Jr. by renaming one of its city parks after the late civil rights icon.

East Park will be renamed after King in a dedication ceremony on MLK Day this January. The tribute was approved Tuesday by the Rochester Park Board.

The idea to rename the park was brought forward by a community action group, who according to a news release, “saw an opportunity to create a tangible reflection of MLK’s message of unity.” East Park was chosen because it often serves as the site of community cultural events.

"For many years, East Park has been the location in Rochester where many youth, including youth of color, gather to play basketball, meet friends, and socialize. Families have barbeques and family reunions in the summer,” said action group member Karen Edmonds, executive director of Project Legacy. “It has been known as a community gathering place for multi-generations. The renaming of this park to Martin Luther King Jr. Park would hold special meaning and significance for those who view this park as their own.”

The group received early support for the idea from Rochester Mayor Ardell Brede. In a note to group members, Brede called it a “long overdue request.”

The plan is to hold a dedication ceremony at the park following the “I have a Dream” breakfast on January 21. A community effort to fund and erect a memorial will be undertaken in the coming year.

Cover photo: MLK memorial in Washington, D.C. / Gage Skidmore

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