To Celebrate MLK’s Birthday

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To celebrate MLK’s birthday, last week we had a special event at Leaders Connect which featured three prominent local African-American leaders who discussed leadership lessons they learned from the teachings of Dr. King.

Photo of Martin Luther King, Jr. from Wikimedia Commons

The three speakers were…

Demond Johnson who talked about the influence of Dr. King in leading him to become a trailblazer. First in his 20 year army career and currently as the founder of a holistic health center Ann Arbor fitness pro.com.

Former UofM Football star Vince Smith who discussed how Dr. King had been an inspiration to him as an undersized football player who made it big and as the founder and leader of the nonprofit team garden.org an organization devoted to creating gardens for youngsters in the inner cities of America including Detroit and Flint. From Dr. King he learned a lesson that, “no is never an option.”

Dr. David Tarver spoke about his new book “Proving Ground: A Memoir” and how Dr. King told him the lessons of love. His dream was having his own electric equipment company. After the success of this company, he started his own nonprofit urban entrepreneurship.org

I spoke about how Dr. King’s I have a dream speech which I first heard in 1963 inspired me to start a highly diverse student relations council at my high school in Ferndale Michigan.

Two other community leaders shared their leadership lessons from Dr. King. George Johnson 30-year employee of General Motors talked about how Dr. King inspired him to do something different than his parents and his peers. Sean Duval the founder of Golden Limousine International learned the lessons of great communication from Dr. King. After having a cross burned on his lawn when he first moved to a small town in Michigan, he persevered to become a student council president and catching the football team in that same small town and then to launch his own enterprise.

For those of you who were not among the 75 people able to attend this magnificent event, here is the video of this event.

Thanks Roger Rayle of R2VIVE for the video and to our sponsors Zingerman’s, Bank of Ann Arbor and Rehmann.

I also have included 25 of Dr. King’s lessons on leadership as compiled by Joseph Lalonde.

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