MADISON, Wis.(WMTV) Wisconsin's Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes spoke to a crowd of students at UW-Madison as the keynote speaker for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration.
Barnes is the first African American lieutenant governor elected in Wisconsin. Monday's speech highlighted how he's used Dr. King's legacy to get him where he is today, and how he plans to use it moving forward.
"Above and beyond history making we must continue to strive to make a difference," said Barnes in his speech.
More than 400 people attended. The event was originally scheduled for the Memorial Union but due to high interest it was moved to Varsity Hall inside Union South.
Barnes spoke about how Dr. King's legacy of love and equality can be used today as Wisconsin still faces a racial divide.
"Currently, we are the worst place to raise a black child. We suffer from a lot of racial imbalance. In the City of Milwaukee we have the highest rate of segregation in the U.S. We can do better," said Barnes.
While some are calling the Lt. Governor's speech historic Barnes said he hopes his words are more than just history.
"It's about making a different and that's what have to strive to do in our everyday life. It's what we have to strive to do in governing. There's no point in being elected, just to be elected," said Barnes.