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Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

Students say Kwame Kilpatrick has something to offer on redemption

By Kellie Woodhouse

Detroit Ex Mayor Book.JPG

In a May 25, 2010 file photo, former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is placed in handcuffs at his sentencing hearing in Detroit.

File photo

Organizers of the student group bringing former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to Eastern Michigan University's campus on Tuesday told the Eastern Echo they believe the politician-turned-prisoner-turned-author has a lot to say about redemption.

Kilpatrick was repeatedly accused of corruption during his mayorship from 2002 to 2008. In 2008 he was indicted with perjury, misconduct in office and obstruction of justice, charges that rocked an already beleaguered city and eventually landed the Detroit politician an 18-month prison sentence.

He recently was released, but earlier this month authorities indicted Kilpatrick with a new charge of accepting a $10,000 bribe in a restaurant bathroom.

In prison, Kilpatrick wrote Surrendered! The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick, a book that both speaks of redemption and blames others for his downfall.

“We believe that with bringing Kwame, it’s showing people that if you’ve made mistakes in that past, you can take steps to correcting them,” Benoris Carter, the public relations officer for student group Black Leaders Aspiring for Critical Knowledge, told the Echo.

“Take away Kwame and just listen to the message.... The message is saying that whatever happened, whatever obstacles, they could be educational, personal or legal, you can overcome them.”

The announcement last week that Kilpatrick would speak at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at EMU's Student Center in Ypsilanti initially received criticism.

In a statement, EMU said the event was not university sponsored.

"The appearance of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is not a university-sponsored event and the university is not providing any funding to Mr. Kilpatrick," the statement said. "Similar to many universities, Eastern has a policy allowing student organizations to determine programming based on their own interests and agenda."

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.



Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:21 p.m.

re┬Ědemp┬Ětion/ri?dempSH?n/Noun: 1.The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil: "God's plans for the redemption of his world". 2.A thing that saves someone from error or evil: "his marginalization from the Hollywood jungle proved to be his redemption". this certainly does not fit the experience Kwame has had or will have. Unrepentant - possibly. What he has to say about redemotion would imply that he has beem redeemed...something that has not happened and won't until he actually stops blaming everyone else for his problems. really, wrong role model people - really wrong.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Mon, Nov 28, 2011 : 5:18 p.m.

I'm not going to comment about this again except to say that this man seems to have no concept whatsoever about the need for true repentance for one's actions before true redemption can occur. If a man says over and over and over I didn't do anything wrong, it was all the fault of my life and my environment and the actions of others, and even so, I have managed to keep going, he is not talking about redemption. He is talking about getting away with it and going on with your life. This is a terribly fake version of redemption. I was a college student once, too, and I know that many--and maybe most--college students are bright and aware enough to see through this guy and his nonsense. All it takes is a little common sense, and I think most of them have that. So is Dave BIng the next speaker?