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Archive for Monday, January 17, 2011

Former KU great Wayne Simien discusses importance of mentoring at MLK event

Former KU basketball greats Bud Stallworth, left, and Wayne Simien, visit, while Simien fans Eva Daniels, second from right, and Shelley Vann, far right, squeeze in for a photograph with Simien, Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr., community breakfast. Simien was the guest speaker at the fourth annual event.

Former KU basketball greats Bud Stallworth, left, and Wayne Simien, visit, while Simien fans Eva Daniels, second from right, and Shelley Vann, far right, squeeze in for a photograph with Simien, Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr., community breakfast. Simien was the guest speaker at the fourth annual event.

January 17, 2011

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Lawrence residents of all different races and ages woke up early Monday morning to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and hear Kansas University basketball great Wayne Simien speak.

Wayne Simien speaks at MLK Community Breakfast

Former KU and NBA basketball player Wayne Simien, was the keynote speaker at the fourth annual MLK Community Breakfast, Monday, Jan. 17, 2011. Enlarge video

Former KU basketball greats Bud Stallworth, left, and Wayne Simien, visit, while Simien fans Eva Daniels, second from right, and Shelley Vann, far right, squeeze in for a photograph with Simien, Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr., community breakfast. Simien was the guest speaker at the fourth annual event.

Former KU basketball greats Bud Stallworth, left, and Wayne Simien, visit, while Simien fans Eva Daniels, second from right, and Shelley Vann, far right, squeeze in for a photograph with Simien, Monday at the Martin Luther King Jr., community breakfast. Simien was the guest speaker at the fourth annual event.

King’s mentor, his method and motivation were the topics of Simien’s speech, in which he called for parents to take the time to mentor their children. In a generation that is seeing many broken homes, he said this was a big step toward preparing the next generation for change.

“We could very well be overlooking the next instrument of change,” he said. “We could very well be overlooking the next Martin Luther King.”

Simien also spoke of King’s method, which was service to others, and his motivation in his work, which was his dedication to God.

The Rev. Paul Winn Jr., an organizer of Lawrence’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events with Lawrence Ecumenical Fellowship, saw many of these very qualities in Simien.

“I think as a mentor there’s an uprightness that comes forth and the inspiration there to become a dreamer,” he said.

Marlon Wesley brought his 10-year-old son, Curtis, to the breakfast. Curtis, a basketball player himself, was excited to see Simien, but Wesley said there was a bigger theme to think about.

“It’s a good occasion to come out and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King,” he said. “Lawrence is an interesting place. Everybody comes out; every ethnic background comes out.”

Simien said he was honored to be asked to speak at the community breakfast.

“Particularly being someone from a younger generation who didn’t experience those types of injustices, but yet, at the same time, as a beneficiary of what he was able to accomplish, it was important to share from my perspective,” he said. “Just to see the diversity here, not only ethnically but also age-wise, was really encouraging to see, particularly some of the youth here, to take time to get up early in the morning — about a man who changed this nation.”

Comments

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 3 months ago

This is a special day for me because I grew up watching Martin Luther King, Jr. and the fire hoses they directed at small children marching for freedom. I am grateful to Wayne for what he is doing but at the same time, I am very disappointed that our town newspaper did not have something about King on the front page today.

It is a sad reminder that too many Americans still fail to appreciate the work of Dr. King and the positive impact he had on this country.

I will fly my flag proudly on this day for what Dr. King did to bring this country closer together and help us to understand our mistakes and to bring about change.

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xclusive85 3 years, 3 months ago

Absolutely!! If that is what Wayne wants to do.

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Tom Horner 3 years, 3 months ago

This is a fine young man that I hope the powers that be will find a place for in the current athletic depatment.

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