KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce is hosting a series of discussions on systemic racism in KC, and the first one is today, June 18.
The listening session comes in the wake of worldwide protests against police brutality and racism after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The first listening session, called “Understanding the Black Experience in Greater KC: A Listening Session. (Part I),” will focus on the history of racism in the area and try to find out what happens next.
“At this moment in time, we’ve got to listen to authentic voices and understand,” Joe Reardon, President and CEO of the chamber, said. “This series of online panel discussions will help inform the Chamber as we decide the concrete steps we must take in order to do what we can to bring racial equity to Kansas City.”
A panel will consist of Diane Charity of the Kansas City Eviction Project; Simone Curls of the Prospect Business Association; Chris Goode, KCMO Parks Board Commissioner; Justice Horn, president of UMKC Student Government Association; and Harold Johnson, Jr. of the Unified Government.
Participants can sign up on the KC Chamber website.
A second listening session on understanding the Black experience in Greater Kansas City is scheduled for Friday, June 26. A panel discussion on the history of racism in Kansas City will be scheduled after the July 4 holiday. And on July 29, as part of the Chamber’s annual POWER of Diversity Breakfast, panelists will discuss next steps to achieve racial equity. Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II will be the keynote speaker.
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