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Bob Kendrick, the director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, will visit Northwest on Sept. 20 to present the fall Ploghoft Diversity Lecture. (Submitted photo)

Bob Kendrick, the director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, will visit Northwest on Sept. 20 to present the fall Ploghoft Diversity Lecture. (Submitted photo)

Sept. 4, 2018

Ploghoft Lecture to feature director of Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

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Bob Kendrick, the director of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) in Kansas City, will visit Northwest Missouri State University to present its fall Ploghoft Diversity Lecture.

The lecture begins as 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. It is free and open to the public.

Kendrick was named president of the NLBM in 2011 and is one of the leading authorities on the topic of Negro Leagues Baseball history and its connection to sports, race and diversity. He has been a contributing writer for Ebony magazine and the National Urban League’s Opportunity magazine.

Dr. Terry Long, the director of Northwest’s School of Health and Science, has taken Northwest students to visit the museum, in addition to working with Kendrick on the board of an organization that provided recreation programs and resources for people with disabilities in Kansas City. In seeking ways to connect the Northwest community with the museum experience, Long and organizers of the Ploghoft lecture hope Kendrick’s visit to Northwest is the beginning of an ongoing collaboration with the museum.     

“Bob is a truly engaging storyteller with a wealth of knowledge about the league and its players, and I guarantee he will entertain you,” Long said. “Really though, his talk is about much more than just baseball. It’s about the role that the leagues played in American history and the lived experiences of the people involved. It’s about civil rights and how sport is both a reflection of our society and a proving ground for change when it comes to issues like social justice, equity and inclusion.”

Founded in 1990, the NLBM is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. Kendrick is responsible for the museum’s day-to-day operations and the development and implementation of strategies to advance the mission of the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Since rejoining the NLBM in 2011, he has helped orchestrate a nearly $10 million turnaround to renew the museum’s vitality and financial stability.

Kendrick began his association with the NLBM as a volunteer during a 10-year newspaper career with The Kansas City Star, where he was a senior copywriter for the promotions department and won numerous advertising and marketing awards. After serving on the NLBM board and as co-chairman of the museum’s grand-opening gala, Kendrick became its first director of marketing in 1998 and was named vice president of marketing in 2009. In 2010, he left the museum to accept a post as executive director of the National Sports Center for Disabled-Kansas City in 2010.

In 2009, The Kansas City Globe named Kendrick to its list of “100 Most Influential African-Americans in Greater Kansas City.” In 2014, he was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

The Ploghoft Diversity Lecture series features speakers and activities that broaden the educational perspectives of Northwest teacher candidates and inform all students about the issues facing the education of students from diverse environments.

It is funded through the generosity of the late Dr. Milton Ploghoft of Athens, Ohio, and his late wife, Zella. Dr. Ploghoft, a 1949 Northwest alumnus who died in April, was professor emeritus at Ohio University. Zella, who passed away in 2010, completed her elementary and secondary education at Horace Mann Laboratory School at Northwest.

Dr. Ploghoft authored a number of textbooks in the social studies and lived abroad for many years, founding the College of Education in Kano, Nigeria, lecturing at Saigon University and leading the university's international programs in such disparate places as Chile, Cameroun, Botswana, the Yucatan, Swaziland and in what was then South Vietnam. In 1992, he became the founding editor of the African Education Research Network.


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