A sold out audience benefitting the Sandra Lassiter group's effort to renovate Sumner Academy, heard some rousing reasons why they should support the project. BET Political Analyst and motival speaker Jeff Johnson told the audience they're not only helping restore a building (if they're really getting involved..) but also restoring the legacy of Topeka's rich education history.
Johnson began by criticizing the states that "spend more on incarceration than on education.." and that our young people should not walk outside wondering "how good their dreadlocks look" but being empowered to envision their future with a post-collegiate education and a vision on how they can change the world. Johnson also defined differences between "old people" and "elders" saying elders are the ones who share that rich Topeka history with the younger generation so they can appreciate its impact. His many messages to the cheering audience included restoring the "self esteem of a younger generation struggling to understand who they are."
Lassiter said the Sumner Restoration Project is attempting to raise $3.6 million dollars to rebuild the school as a charter school of diversity in Topeka.