As MKE Fellows celebrated the opening ceremonies of the 18th annual Fellowship Open charity weekend, they had the esteemed pleasure of meeting with Tommie Smith, 1968 Olympian sprinter who stood in the spotlight on behalf of justice.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the MKE Fellows is exposure of Fellows to people of wide and different backgrounds, beliefs, and political opinions. Equally important have been people whom, through and despite adversity, have demonstrated the power of character. In 2018 during the 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Olympic Games the MKE Fellows had an opportunity to meet track star and living legend, Tommie Smith, and learned first-hand of his heroic struggle to create an environment of social justice. Of course he did so at great personal sacrifice, which is a character of servant leadership we hope to instill in our young men. In this 50th year, he is being saluted around the world for that type of courage. Smith joined a list of many more legends, such as Oscar Robertson, in coming to Milwaukee to meet and personally visit with the MKE Fellows, and to provide a Medal of Distinction to those outstanding students. The response from the youth and community was incredible. Few could believe that they actually had the opportunity to not only meet and converse with the legend, but to learn about their unique place in American history. This inter-generational bond reminds us of many years of hopes rising to fulfillment, and we anticipate a future full of greater equity and even bigger hopes and dreams.