African American Builders of Topeka: Lazone Grays
“I am changing the narrative.”—Lazone Grays
MY STORY While attending school at Washburn, I got my introduction to Black History by working in Mabee Library. All the major activist figures were there —MLK (Martin Luther King Jr.), Garvey (Marcus Garvey), and Malcolm X. The biggest influence on me was Malcolm. I have read his biography several times; it has had a lasting impact on me. I felt a parallel to his (Malcolm) life in many ways.
IBSA, Inc. started at Washburn University because I was frustrated with the Black organizations on campus. The International Black Student Alliance (IBSA) had connections in Africa, which is where the international aspect comes from. It is concerned with the diaspora as well as commerce and trade. Concerning youth, we have to be teachers too, not just the schools. Education is the passport to the future.
I use IBSA and technology as a bridge for businesses and students to work together, in order to groom our youth to be better leaders in the community. It started with a partnership with Big Brothers and Big Sisters participants on how to do websites. Technology is the new tool for the future. One person can make things happen