Shaun King speaks on injustice at Soup and Substance


Shaun King speaks Thursday about his story and how the movement of social media reporting is continuing to grow. Photo by Joel Repoley | Staff.

Allie Hennard

UK students got an insight on how racism is still an issue and how media shapes public discourse at the last Soup and Substance discussion. 

Civil rights activist Shaun King spoke to students Thursday night in White Hall Classroom Building. The Martin Luther King Center hosted the event in collaboration with the Student Activities Board’s Engaging Issues Committee. King focused on the art of storytelling and how the media affects racial injustice. 

“There are a lot of students who are still experiencing racism on campus and here we are and it is 2016. Students feel like some people in the administration, including the president, are listening to them, but they don’t really see the actions to correspond with that,” King said. “You do have to make a daily decision to be a part of the solution; it is worth fighting to make it better. I stand with you; I respect so many of you. I think the school has a lot to improve.”

King, a New York Daily News writer, served as the primary speaker for the event. 

The discussion focused on the “dip” in the quality of the way people interact with each other.  The audience was given the opportunity to ask questions regarding injustice and the realities of our generation following the event. 

“We’re in a dip. Here’s the beauty of being in a dip, and I see some of it now actually, when you are in a dip, eventually you come out of it and in the course of all human history people always come out of it, always, it always changes,” King said.

Other topics of discussion included the confusion over technology changes with the quality of humanity, how the media crafts stories and how words can craft the way a story is viewed. 

The event impacted students in a positive way. 

“The biggest thing I took from Shaun King’s speech was just motivation and affirmation that what we’re experiencing on campus isn’t just a figure from our imagination, that it’s happening globally, like we’re a part of that conversation,” said Gabe Tomlin, a sophomore. 

King challenges students to not just listen but act. He said listening is not enough, but that students should fight for a response and not for just the opportunity to be heard. 

“The goal of this was really just to teach about how there needs to be more humanity and I don’t think it could have been at a better time, where UK is experiencing a lot of racial tension,” said Destiny Witherspoon, a journalism sophomore, a programming intern at the MLK Center and one of the event’s organizers.

This was the last Soup and Substance of the semester. The next event, Food for Thought, will be at noon on Wednesday, in the MLK Center.