Spotlight: Kristen Shook

Cassidy Haag

Washburn University played a part in the work done on the Brown v. Board of Education mural. Kristen Shook, a recent Washburn University graduate, was given the opportunity to assist with the Brown v. Board of Education mural as her leadership internship. Shook accepted this position because she likes being involved in Topeka. She majored in psychology and minored in the leadership program.

“It [the mural] gives something for everyone to be a part of, it doesn’t really single anybody out and literally anybody, as you saw today, can come from the community and just be a part of it,” Shook said.

Joe Perry, a local Topeka police officer, came up with the idea. He believed that the artwork would attract viewers, therefore, lower crime rates in the area. Having people around would ward off criminals in the area.

 “One way to change that [crimes] around is to bring people to the location, because bad guys don’t want to get caught, and they’re not necessarily scared of the police because we can’t be there 24/7, but the neighbors can be there 24/7,” Perry said.

Over 2,000 people came together to create this large project. The mural took three years to finish and many hands, young and old, to help make a painting that shows others that history does not have to repeat itself.