Michael Kidd-Gilchrist visits for speaking and bowling event for stuttering community

By Natalie Copeland | May 24, 2023

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with bowling participants

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist with bowling participants

MURRAY, Ky. – On May 19, Founder and CEO of Change & Impact, Inc., NBA veteran and University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball National Champion, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist visited Murray State University to speak with graduate students in the Center for Communication Disorders (CDI) in the College of Education and Human Services, as well as host a bowling event for local families and speech-language pathologists.

Kidd-Gilchrist, an individual who stutters, founded Change & Impact in 2021 as a way “to improve access to healthcare and expand services and resources for those who stutter,” as well as “change the social stigma of stuttering through awareness, education and empowerment.”

While speaking to students in the CDI 625 “Fluency Disorders” class led by clinical supervisor and instructor Megan Smetana, Kidd-Gilchrist discussed the importance of speech-language pathology, but also explained his personal experiences with stuttering. When a graduate student asked if he ever avoids social situations in which he would have to speak, he responded to her by saying “Yeah. Of course I do. I don’t even want to be speaking right now, but I do it because I know it’s important.”

On January 28, 2023, Kidd-Gilchrist attended a Murray State University men’s basketball game with CDI faculty and staff, where he met local children who receive services from CDI’s Speech and Hearing Clinic. Since then, Kidd-Gilchrist has maintained relationships and kept in contact with those in CDI, and subsequently arranged another campus visit.

Reflecting on his relationships with faculty and staff in CDI, he expressed that the support he’s been shown in Murray has meant the world to him. Though not originally from here, his love for the state of Kentucky has inspired him to return time and time again. He explained that while basketball gave him a platform, he is now using that platform to “give hope to those who don’t feel heard” through his nonprofit organization. 

To round out the day, Change & Impact hosted a “Bowling Blast” event at Corvette Lanes in Murray, in which local families affected by stuttering, as well as speech-language pathologists, were able to enjoy a meal, bowl, mingle with each other and talk individually with Kidd-Gilchrist. 

For more information on Change & Impact, please visit changeandimpactinc.org. For more information on the Center for Communication Disorders, please visit murraystate.edu/cdi.

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