Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes will give the keynote speech at the annual Beloit College Martin Luther King Day Jr. Convocation, which will be held today at 4:15 p.m. in Eaton Chapel.
Barnes was sworn into office on January 7, 2019. He is the first African-American to serve as a lieutenant governor in Wisconsin, and the second African-American ever to hold statewide office.
In 2012, at the age of 25, Barnes was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he served two two-year terms. His tenure in the State Assembly included serving as Chair of the Legislature's Black and Latino Caucus and becoming a recognized leader on progressive economic policies and gun violence prevention legislation.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes is the son of a public school teacher and a United Auto Workers member. He attended John Marshall High School and received his degree in telecommunications from Alabama A&M University.