Rome ‘came here to make a difference’
Monday, June 10, 2013
In one of his first public speeches since taking the position of Lincoln University president, Kevin Rome said the black community needs to come together and have a voice in the future of Jefferson City.
At the Juneteenth Father’s Day Banquet on Sunday, Rome said there is a disconnect from what a father once was to how the role is played most often in today’s black community. Rome said fathers once were viewed as wise leaders, providers who were respected, but now the most common way father’s are talked about is through the simple question of where is he.
“There’s some serious conversations that we have to have with black men,” Rome said. “The message I bring to you today is how do we come together.”
Rome, who noted that he grew up without knowing his own father, said the black community needs to come together and inspire young black men to take their place in the community, to continue their education and seek out opportunities.
“None of these are easy tasks,” Rome said. “Lincoln University has to play a role in the community and in the city.”
While Rome spoke specifically about the needs of the black community, he also noted the way to move forward is through a collaborative effort of everyone in the area, regardless of race or ethnicity.
“I came here for a reason and that reason is to make a difference,” Rome said. “It has to be one community, collaboratively working to make Jefferson City and the surrounding areas better.”
“I hear a lot of talk ... but action is what makes a difference.”
The annual event also presented the 2013 Father of the Year award to Rev. Lard Andrews, nominated by his son Justin Andrews.
Justin Andrews said in the face of a deteriorating vision of what fathers are today, his father sets “a divine standard.”
“The present image of a father is regressing,” he said. “Right now the cycle is broken ... I am able to carry out everything he instilled in me to ultimately delegate change.”
In receiving the award, Rev. Lard Andrews said he was humbled, flabbergasted and floored by the honor.
The event also presented the 2013 Public Servant award to eight current and former elected officials in Jefferson City and Holts Summit, including current 4th Ward Councilman Carlos Graham and current 5th Ward Councilman Larry Henry.
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