MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fifty years ago, an American assassin tried to silence a King.

But Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream of equality for his own children still resonates with Minnesota students today.

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On Wednesday, students at Burnsville High School held an open forum in a African American history class on the anniversary of the civil rights leader’s assassination.

Many students said that King is still a prominent figure in their lives and that the issues he spoke passionately on are still relevant.

Jasmine Buckner, a member of Burnsville High School’s newly formed Black Student Union, said her father was alive during segregation.

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“Whenever he hears a speech, it brings him to tears, because he lived that,” she said.

The students said they believe civil rights and race relations have improved since King’s time, but that it’s up to them to continue his message for true equality for future generations.

“I am black and Muslim,” said student Najma Abdi. “I experience discrimination from both sides and I feel like his message of love and acceptance really helps in those circumstances.”

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The students says that social media is a new tool that people can use to work toward greater equality.

Kate Raddatz