TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! CAPACITY CROWD FOR KANSAS CITY RACE RELATIONS CONVERSATION @ REDEEMER FELLOWSHIP CHURCH TONIGHT!!!
Tonight there was a capacity crowd talking about racism and race relations in Kansas City.
In Midtown Kansas City @ Redeemer Fellowship Church there were more than a few hundred people (400 according to organizers) listening to a distinguished panel of speakers this evening.
Speaker Brian Key began the evening with a bit of hope for Kansas City through Jesus Christ. I mostly tuned out for the religious remarks but it's worth mentioning that the people here are young and very friendly.
Now onto the speakers:
KC Call Reporter Eric Wesson
Mr. Wesson started his remarks with a simple observation.
"Why does Emanuel Cleaver Blvd stop @ the Plaza?"
The KC Call reporter noted his decade long career documenting the East Side and spoke of his frustration.
"If the white males suffered the same problems and circumstances suffered by black males there would be a more attention, an emergency declared and demand for action. Where is the outrage?"
Urban League Leader Gwen Grant
Ms Grant focused on data in her remarks. She noted her group's work to achieve social and economic parity.
In a recent survey she said that (using whites as the control group), African-Americans ranked @ only 71.9% in terms of economic equity and lamented economic disparity that persists after slavery.
"There's a history that we're dealing with, in many ways we're still 3/4ths of a way to being whole."
Columnist Lewis Diuguid
Mr. Diuguid was more optimistic in his remarks. He mentioned several groups working to improve the urban core.
"Young people don't take no for an answer. I applaud your church for taking the initiative to rebuild this community . . .
Remember that the Civil Rights Movement started in churches. I am encouraged by this group of people from so many walks of life."
First, it was kinda disappointing that this conversation really wasn't very diverse. The Black/white nature of the discussion didn't really represent the diversity of Kansas City.
Still, it was a conversation worth having with a new crowd of hopeful people buying up property with tax exempt status.
Tony Reflection update: On second thought, this was a rather wonderful Midtown Kansas City event that featured meaningful conversation on an important topic that few are willing to contemplate.
Developing . . .