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Eric Holder, Former United States Attorney General to speak at the 31st Annual MLK Luncheon

Public Employees for Community Concerns has chosen Eric Holder, Former United States Attorney General, to give the keynote address at the January 16, 2023, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Luncheon.

The luncheon takes place at the Peoria Civic Center, with the doors opening at 11 a.m. and the luncheon beginning at Noon. Tickets to the luncheon are $60 per person and tables of 10 can be purchased for $600. Tickets can be purchased on the website at or at Peoria City Hall, City Clerk’s Office, Room 401. Checks can be made payable to Public Employees for Community Concerns and mailed to PO Box 11411, Peoria, IL 61612.

“We are honored to have Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder as the keynote speaker for our Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Luncheon,” said Peoria Mayor Rita Ali. “As we commemorate the life and legacy of a leader who taught us to keep the dream alive and stand up for what is right, I believe his message will be an inspiration to everyone.”

Eric H. Holder, Jr. made history in 2009 when President Obama appointed him as attorney general, the first African American to hold that position. Holder served in the Obama Administration as attorney general from February 2009 to April 2015, the third longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history. During his tenure, he championed hallmark legislation on voting rights, immigration law, national security, and same-sex marriage. Now, Holder has continued his pursuit for civil rights in his post-White House career, serving as Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee and using his unique expertise in his role as a leading voting rights advocate.

Holder’s highly anticipated first book, Our Unfinished March: The Violent Past and Imperiled Future of the Vote-A History, a Crisis, a Plan (May 2022), co-authored with Sam Koppelman, is a dramatic history of the vote in America and an urgent summons to protect and perfect our democracy. Holder takes readers through how the vote was won in three stages: first by white men, through violence and insurrection; then by white women, through tax strikes, direct action protests, and mass imprisonments; and finally by Black Americans, in the face of lynching’s, terrorism, and assassinations. Holder then addresses how the vote has been stripped away from Americans before delivering his visionary ideas for how we can become a true democracy.

After over 30 years in government service and private practice, Eric Holder is internationally recognized for his expertise in the most crucial issues of our times, from the economy to civil rights to cybersecurity. In his candid talks with audiences at universities, corporations, conferences, and communities across the globe, Holder provides a fascinating insider’s account of his storied career in the Obama White House and thought-provoking insights into today’s headlines, concerns, and trends.

Among his many accolades, Holder is the recipient of the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award, GLAD’s Spirit of Justice Award, the National Urban League’s “Living Legend” award, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2014, TIME Magazine named Holder one of the year’s “100 Most Influential People.”

Eric Holder has delivered commencement addresses at Boston University, University of Virginia School of Law, Harvard Law School, the UC Berkeley School of Law, and the UCLA School of Law, and was Columbia College’s Class Day Speaker. He holds a B.A. from Columbia College and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. In addition to his civil rights work, he is currently serving as Senior Counsel at Washington D.C. law firm Covington & Burling LLP.