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Black Economic Union in the Historic Lincoln Building

September 1, 2008


Historic Lincoln BuildingLocated at the historical 18th and Vine District, the Black Economic Union is located in the historic Lincoln Building.

The Black Economic Union of Greater Kansas City (BEU) is a not-for-profit community development corporation located in the historic Lincoln Building in the 18th & Vine District of Kansas City, Mo. BEU’s president is Bailus Tate.
BEU was founded in 1968 by former NFL football stars and community activists Jim Brown and Curtis McClinton. BEU is the oldest of Kansas City’s 13 community development corporations. Its mission is to initiate activity or serve as catalysts towards community development and stabilization and to facilitate economic empowerment of minorities.

Black Economic Union is known for its forward thinking and comprehensive approaches to community revitalization. The 15-year-old 18th & Vine Heritage Jazz Festival is an example of how the BEU board of directors and cultural advisory team kept the Kansas City community involved in the revitalization of the historic district while stimulating economic growth for existing independently owned area businesses. Today, the historic district is home to six thriving cultural/arts organizations: the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Gem Theater Cultural and Performing Arts Center, The Mutual Musicians Foundation, The Kansas City Jazz Museum, the Black Archives of Mid-America, and the Mutual Musicians Foundation.

Black Economic Union is focusing on volunteer and staff efforts toward advancing and stabilizing development within the historic district. BEU seeks to accomplish this through the identification and creation of compatible residential and commercial ventures such as Basie Court Apartments at 19th and Woodland, and Renaissance Cove single-family homes at Bernard Powell Drive and Myrtle Avenue. Another initiative is BEU’s aggressive efforts to attract job and career development opportunities within the district. Examples are the Sprint Call Center and the Lincoln Building Small Business Incubator. BEU views these as important components of community revitalization that will ensure the long-term success of the district.

Please contact the Kansas City Black Economic Union, if you would like to assist in its community and business development efforts through a tax-deductible contribution or by volunteering time and expertise. 816.474.1080

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