Wesley Hamilton

Speaker, athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Where were you born and raised?
Kansas City, Missouri.

What is your occupation?
Speaker, athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Going to the Swope Park swimming pool during the weekdays.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month used to be something that I'd reflect on to remember a time that Black people did some good in this world. Crazy to say "remember." Now BHM is a time to celebrate the new and the old of all Black excellence. Its a time to give young Black boys and girls hope, drive and ambition.

What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
Mental health. These corrupt systems have been in-place so long that it has caused a major issue in Black and brown communities. If the aid and resources aren't coming with mental health on the forefront its not helping!

When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
I grew up on the Eastside of Kansas City. I've always knew I was Black. I always knew I was a Black Man. What has that meant for my life? I was shot at the age of 24 and paralyzed.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
My biggest inspiration for change is the belief that change will happen. We as a community have to believe that the daily work we're putting in to empower our unrepresented peers is making a difference. Nothing has ever been fair here for Black people in America but its constantly changing and now voices are being amplified louder than ever!

How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I go around speaking to businesses, organizations, and youth. Sharing my story has given me the ability to shift perspectives and begin teaching cultures how to lead with empathy. Outside of the global work, I focus on supporting Black businesses and providing any knowledge and resources I have available that can bring them value. My heart goes in to the communities I represent and I also make sure when we talk Black community we don't forget those with disabilities. My NPO Disabled but not really is geared to making sure all people from under served communities have a sense of well being, empowerment and a voice.

Season of Hope Toy Drive