Students say Kwame Kilpatrick has something to offer on 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."