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Spotlight » Community » W. Lazone Grays


W. Lazone Grays

Other Titles:Activist, Volunteer
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W. Lazone Grays has made a life out of encouraging and supporting others in and around the Topeka, Kansas community. He has dedicated thousands of community service hours to working with juvenile offenders in Shawnee County and continues to provide direct support services to adults.

Born in Houston, Texas, Grays spent 5 years in the U.S. Air Force as an Aircraft Weapons System Specialist. He later attended Washburn University where he actively held officer positions in the Black Student Union and the Black Male Task Force. In 1994, Grays received an Associate of Arts degree in Legal Studies from Washburn U and he was well on his way to supporting others.

Grays' devotion to civil rights has allowed him to become an advocate and leader for both kids and adults around the Topeka community. Finding summer jobs for teens can be a challenge and Grays did something about it. He helped create the Topeka Summer Youth Employment Program for youth ages 14-15. The program partners with local businesses and agencies to provide jobs such as clerical duties, assisting with Parks and Recreation summer day camps and community service projects to teenagers.

Grays also remains actively involved in helping low-income adults obtain employment, including developing job contacts, conducting a job search and facilitating direct involvement with government case managers.

Other recognitions include:

  • Governor Joan Finney’s Student Advisory Board (1992)
  • Certificate of Service by City of Topeka Office of the Mayor
  • Recognition for Community Service by Office of the Governor, Kansas
  • Presidential Whitehouse Citation for Community Service (1999)
  • Kansas Minority Business Advocate (1998 & 2002)
  • Innovation in Workforce Development for Voicemail Project: Missouri (1999)
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award for Community Service, Topeka, KS
  • U.S. Delegate to Leon Sullivan Summit: South Africa (1997)
  • Ghandi-King ‘Community Hero Award, Kansas City, KS

Grays currently sits on the Shawnee County Community Corrections Advisory Board and the National Security Council, NGO AGOA Steering Committee. Prior community commitments include: YWCA Career Assistance Network Advisory Board (2000 – 2004), Community Reinvestment Act Advisory Committee-Mercantile Bank of Topeka (1996-1997), Million Man March National Youth Organizing Committee (1995), Million Youth Movement National Organizing Committee: Atlanta/Denver (1998/1999), and PBS National Act Against Youth Violence Committee (1995-1997)

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