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The Man about Town: “Cuz”

seankuenyA young man around your age is academically skilled, middle class, and part of a loving family.  He also has plans to become a firefighter.  But after a few weeks of peer-influence, poor decisions, he finds himself given an adult trial and is thrown in jail for over a decade with grown men.  How could this happen?

The young man’s name was Michael Allen, and he was the topic of a recent lecture called “Cuz” at the Kansas City Central Public Library.  It was delivered by Danielle Allen, a professor in Harvard’s Government and Education departments, and Michael Allen’s cousin.  It talks about how Michael journeyed from being a talented and happy person with fond memories of his childhood to a gang-flirting, carjacking felon who was murdered in 2009.

Ms. Allen’s lecture offered deep and meaningful insight into how such a promising young man fell into the clutches of crime through peer pressure and poor family communication.  She discussed the war on drugs and how the “Three-Strikes, You’re Out” policy, which allowed for harsher punishment after three felonies, put a minor in prison with adults.  She also recounted how Michael, soon after he got out of prison, was pulled back off the path to a brighter future by someone very close to him.

The Man About Town column is devoted to reviewing the lectures offered in the Kansas City area with the hope of inspiring fellow Rockhurst students to explore cultural and edifying opportunities in the city.

Some upcoming lectures:

TOTAL WAR COMES TO THE FATHERLAND: THE GERMAN HOMEFRONT, 1914-1918
Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017
6:30 P.M.
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum
RSVP

THE ELEPHANT AND DONKEY IN THE ROOM: THE FUTURE OF AMERICAN POLITICAL PARTIES
Monday, Oct. 16, 2017
6:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum
RSVP

STANDING UP AND SITTING DOWN: PROTESTS AND DISSENT IN THE 1960S AND BEYOND
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
6:30 pm
Central Library
RSVP Now

*Freshmen, ask your science teacher about Science Pioneer Lectures.

Categories: Uncategorized

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