The Hampton University School of Liberal Arts welcomed innovative Educator and Author Dr. Steve Perry Nov. 20, to speak about how healing men heals the world.
Perry is author of, "Push Has Come to Shove: Getting Our Kids the Education They Deserve – Even If It Means Picking a Fight," as well as an education contributor for MSNBC, CNN, and Essence Magazine, and the host of TV One's "Save Our Sons."
His most proud job, besides being a father and husband, is as the principal for Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Connecticut.
"HU has a reputation of producing students who will become professionals who will be highly placed in both the country and world," said Perry. "To play a role in their education by speaking here today was an opportunity I just could not pass up."
Perry evoked thought by telling students they had the responsibility of not only graduating, but making an impact in the world. He emphasized that no Hamptonian has the right to be average, specifically because they were HU students.
"I want the students to understand that to whom much is given, much is expected. They are given the opportunity to learn at one of the best schools in the country and they are given the opportunity to be leaders in our [Black] community at a time when our community needs leaders," said Perry.
The Black community also has to fight against the stereotypes of 'being Black' to mean being tough, hard, or gangster. Perry acknowledged how this kind of thinking is a contagious poison from those outside the Black community, and even those within.
In tackling this, students must remember, "You will become how you dress and how you act because that is who you will attract," he said.
"The biggest obstacle you are going to face in life is you—the people who look like you, and even bare the same last name as you," said Perry, in reference to the Black community being a best friend and a best enemy at the same time.
However, that doesn't have to be an excuse that stifles students. Change starts whenever the commitment becomes a virus throughout the nation, Perry said.
"We have to create opportunities for those who come behind us with respect to those before us," he said.
During the Q&A, which packed out the HU Student Center, many students asked about leadership and meeting their goals.
Perry's responses revolved around two powerful statements: "Prayer without action is just talking to yourself," and "when you align your calling with your efforts, great things happen."
Officials said the HU event represented the largest audience to who Perry has ever spoken.