The Kansas African American Museum, 601 N. Water, is hosting a memorial service at 6 p.m. today for Wichita native Ron Walters, who died Sept. 10 at age 72. Walters was a nationally known political scholar and strategist, news commentator, author and activist. As a Wichita University freshman in 1958, he made history by organizing the first student-led sit-in at a segregated lunch counter at the Dockum Drugs store in Wichita. That successful sit-in later became a model for other groups throughout the country. “Wichitans all should be very proud of Ron Walters and the change he brought to this city,” said Gretchen Cassel Eick, a history professor at Friends University and author of the book “Dissent in Wichita: The Civil Rights Movement in the Midwest, 1954-72.” “His death from cancer took from us a brilliant man with a big heart who marched to a drumbeat that calls us all to finish the job.”
UPDATE: The memorial service was postponed so that members of the Walters family could attend.