Inspirational speaker Aimee Mullins visits Columbia

Sep 18, 2013

Aimee Mullins
Aimee Mullins
Credit David Shankbone / Flickr

Athlete, model and activist Aimee Mullins will speak about adversity at MU’s Jesse Auditorium. Mullins was born without fibulae bones in both legs and had her legs amputated below the knee at age one. She has since broken world records at the 1996 Atlanta games and was the first amputee to compete in the NCAA for a division one track team. She is a brand ambassador for L’Oréal Paris and most recently was appointed by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Council to Empower Women & Girls through Sports.

Mullins said adversity isn’t something that interrupts or impedes our lives but there are huge riches and resources to be mined from those experiences.

“We have an enormous potential to either empower ourselves and others, or limit ourselves and others,” Mullins said. “And it starts in this seemingly simplistic vein of language, the language we use to describe things. […] We’ve never been more galvanized to create this shift in how we place terms of worth and value on people.”

She will speak as part of MU Chapter’s Delta Gamma Foundation Lectureship in Values and Ethics. Delta Gamma President Mackenzie Michaletz said they chose Mullins because people can relate to her story.

“We just need to make more room, have a little bit more patience for the fact that some of our best problem solvers are going to come to us because their brains don’t work the way everyone else’s do, or their body’s don’t work the way everyone else’s do, and that’s because of, not in spite of it.”

At the event, she will allow the audience to ask anything so she can have a conversation and dialogue with the people in Columbia. Mullins said that’s what she is really excited about.