T.W. Shannon Promotes MLK Legacy, Leadership During MS Assembly

By Campbell Hart, MS History

On Tuesday, January 22, in celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Heritage Hall Middle School students had the privilege of hearing from guest speaker T.W Shannon. A politician, entrepreneur, and Bank2 CEO, Mr. Shannon made history in 2013 when, at age 34, he become Oklahoma's youngest Speaker of the House, as well as the first person of Chickasaw and African-American heritage to hold the position. Over the years, he has used his position to champion solutions aimed at bolstering minority communities in Oklahoma and to contribute a young minority perspective to the national dialogue on race.
 
In his remarks to Heritage Hall students, Shannon largely focused on the importance of leadership. He emphasized the important distinction between leaders who simply tell people what to do and leaders who inspire people to want to work and be part of a movement themselves, as Dr. King was so powerfully able to do. Shannon also spoke to the importance of “branding” for leaders, noting Dr. King's ability to stay true to the non-violent nature of the civil rights movement by effectively changing the hearts and minds of others through protest, marches, and words. He reminded us that young people today can do the same as they work to continue Dr. King's legacy.
 
On behalf of the Middle School student body, faculty, and staff, thank you, Speaker Shannon, for sharing with us what the legacy of Dr. King means to you; for allowing us to discover more about this important topic from one of our state leaders; and for being an example of living the Charger Code – to learn with honor, to lead with courage, and to serve with compassion
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