The Jackson County Bar Association – Kansas City, Missouri

August 15, 2009

The Jackson County Bar Association (JCBA) is a voluntary bar association comprised primarily of African-American attorneys from throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. Founded in 1912, Jackson County Bar Association was established at a time when African-American lawyers were not allowed to join the American Bar Association (ABA) or the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA). The purpose of the Jackson County Bar Association, then and now, is to be a resource for its members; to work to ensure justice and equal opportunity for the African-American community; improve the administration of justice; preserve the independence of the judiciary, improve the economic conditions of all citizens of Missouri; uphold the honor of the legal profession; and protect the civil and political rights of the citizens and residents of the State of Missouri.

The Jackson County Bar Association has a website ( and it details the names of the officers and committees. There is a job and scholarship section. A calendar of events shows the activities that are coming up in the next 3 months for the organization.

Each year, the Jackson County Bar Association hosts an annual banquet called the Judge Kit Carson Roque Scholarship Banquet. The purpose is to raise funds for the Judge Kit Carson Roque, Jr. Scholarships. These scholarships were created in 1998 to honor the late Judge Kit Carson Roque, Jr., and are presented annually to deserving law students from UMKC, MU, KU and/or Washburn who demonstrate academic achievement, financial need, and community service. Through the awarding of scholarships, the Jackson County Bar Association is trying to do its part to help the next generation of lawyers make it through law school.

One of the other highlights of the Banquet is the presentation of the Judge Lewis W. Clymer Award, given annually to a minority attorney in recognition of their service to the community and promotion of the integrity of the legal profession.

To find information about African American lawyers in Missouri, visit:

Faith-Based Organization, Thank You Christ Ministries, Receives Funding

August 15, 2009

On October 12, 2005 in Kansas City, Missouri, Thank You Christ Ministries received funds for capacity building, from Region VII Office of Health and Science to support training and development for churches and faith-based organizations to work effectively with youth on reproductive health.

For help with your church ministry, youth ministries, or rallies, contact Minister Gregg Wilson at 816.960.6475. They are located at 207 West Linwood, Kansas City, Missouri 64111.

Closing the Opportunity Gap Between Blacks and Whites

August 15, 2009

If such things were decided purely on numbers, the face of American entrepreneurship in 2004 would be black. African-Americans are 50 percent more likely than whites to attempt to start a new business. And Hispanic Americans are 20 percent more likely than their white counterparts to take the plunge. Of course, the entrepreneurial spirit – that burning, gut-level drive to create a viable venture out of one’s own vision, ambition, sweat and talent — knows no race. It is without color or gender, and cuts across all socioeconomic barriers.

But start to peel away the layers of this colorless, genderless ideal, and a disheartening reality emerges. Numbers and race in entrepreneurship matter a great deal at every stage of the process–the initial dream, the viable idea, the months and years of development and hard work.

The truth is that white African-Americans, Hispanic Americans and other minorities are driving the pace of entrepreneurial activity, the face of business success remains disproportionately white.

Minorities represent 27 percent of the American population, but minority-owned firms account for just 14 percent of all U.S. businesses. Of that share, African-Americans own only 4 percent. Even more telling: Black-owned firms take in a meager .4 percent of all U.S. business receipts.

It’s not a question of ability. When given the opportunity to tap resources others often take for granted, minority entrepreneurs deliver the goods. A 2002 study of minority firms backed by venture capital revealed that the average return on investment – 20 percent – exceeded that of the Standard & Poor 500 during the same time period.

But minorities have a much harder time than whites getting their busienss of the ground. And, once started, they struggle to grow their firms to optimal scale. Minorities’ share of the venture captial pie is minuscule, less than 5 percent. The daunting hurdles that slow many white entrepreneurs — such as securing financing, quality training and useful business connections — frequently detour into dead-ends for minorities.

Sadly, the entrepreneurial achievement gap between whites and monorities isn’t news, but at this late date it ought to be history. And in light of the demographics in this country, it ought to be an economic priority.

Relegating this unfortunate legacy of inequality and limited opportunity to the past, where it belongs, is the goal of a new national initiative recentlly announced in Washington D.C., by a powerful consortium of public and private organizations.

Called the Urban Entrepreneur Partnership, the effort brings together the National Urban League, the White House National Economic Council, the Kauffman Foundation, the Small Business Administration and Business Roundtable. Together, we aim to set off a nationwide movement to close the gap between aspiration and success for America’s minority entrepreneurs.

The initiative calls for the development of one-stop economic empowerment centers that provide business training, counseling, prcurement advice and financing to minority business owners in historically neglectedc and economically underserved urban areas.

In its first phase, centers will be launched through local Urban League affiliates in five pilot cities: Atlanta, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville and Kansas City. By the end of 2006, the partnership expects to have 15 centers operational throughout the country.

The Urban Entrepreneur Partnership represents an unprecedented effort to mobilize the resources of corporate America, the nonprofit sector and the federal government to help make the business dreams of minority Americans an economic reality.

To be sure, not every entrepreneur can or should succeed. But every individual who burns with entrepreneurial fire is entitled to a fair shot at success, where race is neither a hindrance nor an advantage.

Written by: Carl J. Schramm and Marc H. Morial
Tuesday November 16, 2004
The Plain Dealer
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Schramm is president and CEO of Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City. Morial is president and Ceo of the National Urban League

W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center

December 22, 2008

Youth Leadership and Development Program

5501 Cleveland Ave, Kansas City, Missouri  64130    (816) 523-3339 phone      (816) 523-5343 fax

Letter Invitation of the 35 celebration of W.E.B. Dubois Learning Center (DLC)

On October 11, 2008, the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center (DLC) will celebrate 35 years of nonprofit serv ice to the Greater Kansas City Community.  The celebration will be held at the Downtown Convention Center in Kansas City, Missouri and will include dinner, keynote speaker, and live entertainment by the sensational “Bake & the Tender Hearts.”  Special guest speaker for the evening will be Ms. Marva Collins, founder of Westide Preparatory School in Chicago, Illinois.

 Thirty four years ago, WEB Dubois Learning Center accepted the challenge of providing tutorial assistance to a relative small numbe r of students, concentrating on reading, math, science and computer science.  The center effectively identified a problem and worked to solve it.  For more than 34 years we have consistently provided tutorial and educational services to the youth of the community and built a solid reputation of producing academic success.  All services, including technology services, are accomplished through volunteers.  This includes development, instruction, administration and support.  The commitment on the part of volunteers is outstanding with the average volunteer tenure being 10 years — many of the volunteers have been with the program since it’s inception in 1973.

 Community organizations such as W.E.B. Dubois Learning Center must rely on the generosity of business and individuals like you to continue its work and service to the community.  As the W.E.B. Dubois Learning Center approaches this 35th year of achievement in providing quality service, the future is full of hope and promise.  I hope that you will join me an dothers in supporting the DuBois Learning Center by becoming a key supporter for this celebration.  I am confident that you will experience a great evening out while learning more about the center, its mission and accomplishments.

 Please join us in celebrating the W.E.B. Dubois Learning Center’s 35th Anniversary in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention on October 11, 2008.  You will be receiving a special invitation regarding this event.  I thank you in advance for your consideration.  if you have specific questions relating to the event, you may contact the W.E. B. DuBois Learning Center directly at 816.523.3339.  You may visit our websites or


William Grace

Executive Director

“Creating Giant Steps Together

 Executive Committee:

Leon Dixon, Chairman

Vern Glover, Vice Chairman

Phillip Vann, Chief Financial Officer

Lani Charles, Secretary

William Grace, Executive Director

Soledad O’Brien and Hill Harper to be Honored at Alpha Phi Alpha’s 102nd Anniversary Convention in Kansas City, MO

July 14, 2008

Soledad O’Brien and Hill Harper to be Honored at Alpha Phi Alpha’s 102nd Anniversary Convention in Kansas City, MO

July 9, 2008

Monica Wood | MWPR, Inc.

Kia Green | MWPR, Inc.


CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, Actor Hill Harper and “The Apprentice” Winner, Dr. Randal Pinkett Among Convention Participants and Award Recipients

Darryl R. Matthews, Sr.,
32nd General President,
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

CNN Sr. Correspondent Soledad

Alpha Brother Dr. Randal

Baltimore, MD ( – For more than 100 years, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has been committed to serving communities — and it is during its largest yearly gathering where members from across the nation converge upon a city to make a difference. The nation’s first and largest African-American intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity will host its 102nd Anniversary Convention from July 17 – 21, 2008 in Kansas City, MO, and will feature several major community service initiatives focusing on national and local issues.

The convention, “Developing Leaders for Service and Advocacy,” will also have workshops, business sessions and appearances by some of today’s recognized individuals and elected officials, including Soledad O’Brien, Hill Harper, Dr. Randal Pinkett, and Honorary Convention Chair and Alpha Brother Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).

More than 5,000 participants are expected to attend the convention, hosted at the Kansas City Convention Center and Kansas City Marriott Downtown. The convention is expected to generate from $2-3 million, with 15,000 people passing through the venues.

“This year’s convention is certainly going to be an experience in history in terms of the bold political, social and economic initiatives we will be conducting in Kansas City,” said the fraternity’s 32nd General President Darryl R. Matthews, Sr. “In keeping with the tradition of the fraternity, Alpha will leave a positive mark on Kansas City, as we have been doing for the rest of the nation for more than a century.”

The five-day convention will kick-off with a Housing Development Mini-Conference on July 17th. The conference will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, and will focus on community and housing development. Kim Kendrick, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will deliver the keynote address.

With the 2008 Presidential election quickly approaching, the fraternity is hosting their “Voteless People is a Hopeless People” Town Hall Forum on Saturday, July 19th. The forum will discuss a variety of political issues, to include: voter education, voter registration and basic civic participation. Baltimore TV newscaster and Alpha Brother Vic Carter will serve as the forum’s moderator. Panelists will include: Alpha Brother Kevin Powell, and representatives from National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, Democratic Political Party, Republican Political Party, and Author Keli Goff.

Dr. Randal Pinkett, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners will headline the Public Program on Sunday, July 20. Pinkett, a fraternity brother, is widely recognized as the first African-American winner of NBC’s The Apprentice (Season 4). The entrepreneur and speaker will discuss entrepreneurial opportunities, while also commenting on civic and social justice work that is needed in today’s society.

Also, during the Public Program the fraternity will honor Soledad O’Brien with the Alpha Award of Honor, the highest recognition for a non-member, for her tremendous work with media coverage of issues affecting the African-American community. O’Brien is a senior correspondent for CNN and has received numerous journalism awards. Alpha Phi Alpha will also hold a special screening at the convention of the highly anticipated CNN documentary “Black in America,” hosted by O’Brien.

Scholar, Actor and Author Hill Harper will also receive the Alpha Award of Honor. Harper wrote two bestselling books: Letters to a Young Brother, and most recently Letters to a Young Sister. Harper’s books served as motivation to young people for making good life decisions. He also starred in CSI: NY, and is appearing in the movie Mama, I Want to Sing! this Fall.

Brother Dr. Joseph Heyward and Brother Dr. Sylvester Shannon will receive the Alpha Award of Merit, the highest recognition for an Alpha Brother. These brothers have served the fraternity in various official capacities for several decades.

Nearly 20 Kansas City high school students will receive recognition from the fraternity at the Public Program for outstanding academic achievement and community participation.

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO) will serve as the keynote speaker during the Life Membership Luncheon on Monday, July 21st. Cleaver is a second-term Congressman in the House of Representatives, and sits on the Financial Services Committee and the Select Committee on Global Warming.

Also, on July 21st, the fraternity will host their Project Alpha initiative (Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Seminar) at a local school. Project Alpha, sponsored by the fraternity and the March of Dimes, is a youth-oriented initiative focused on safe-sex education and responsibility. The brothers will also perform several renovations to the school at the conclusion of the event.

Other festivities, including the College Life to Corporate Life Career Fair and annual Belford V Lawson Oratorical Contest addressing the important question, “Is the N-word Really Buried?” will take place on Friday, July 18th and Saturday, July 19th. The oratorical competition will showcase finalists from the regions as they compete for the national title. Individual recognition for the academic and service achievements of various chapters, including the Brother and Chapter of the Year Awards and the Alpha Spirit Awards, will be presented at the Black and Gold Banquet on Monday, July 21st.

Under the leadership of Matthews, over the past 4 years, the fraternity has strengthened its presence in the communities they represent through their implementing their various community efforts as well as supporting and partnering with others. These efforts include supporting State Farm’s and Dr. Ian Smith’s 50 Million Pound Weight Loss Challenge. Alpha Phi Alpha was the first national Black Greek letter organization to sign on as a Challenge Champion. As a Challenge Champion, Alpha’s commitment and support is highly recognized for improving the good health of and generating good will across, the entire community.

Matthews shares, “Alpha Phi Alpha is making history as we unite to ‘give up the pounds, not the fight.’ I encourage you to register for the Challenge at or visit the exhibit at our convention in Kansas City.”

As General President, he called for 10,000 Alpha Brothers to become mentors, to assist in fund-raising efforts, to serve on local BBBS Agency Boards of Directors. He has served for three years as a member of the BBBS African-American Task Force and has been instrumental in creating new partnerships and alliances for BBBS.

This life-long commitment will be recognized by Judy Vrendenburgh, President/CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. She will make a special presentation to Matthews, for his outstanding leadership and commitment to the efforts to provide one-to-one mentoring services to the youth of America.

“During my tenure, I strived to continue in the tradition of which we were founded, to elevate the conversation, mentality and consciousness of our Alpha Brothers. We need to continue to spark intellectual discourse and be intentional in our efforts to create, commit and contribute to the positive well-being of the communities in which we represent,” Matthews reflected.

Founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has continued to supply voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world. The Fraternity has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights, through Alpha men such as Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, Retired Senator Edward Brooke and Cornel West. Others include members of the 110th Congress including: Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO), Charles B. Rangel (NY), Danny K. Davis (IL), Chaka Fattah (PA), Al Green (TX), Gregory Meeks (NY), David Scott (GA), Robert C. Scott (VA). The fraternity through its college and alumni chapters serves the community through nearly a thousand chapters in the
United States, Europe and the Caribbean.

To learn more visit

Springfield Park Day Reunion 2008 Schedule of Events

July 13, 2008 spoke with James “Lee Lee” Pike today regarding the 2008 Springfield Park Day Annual Reunion that will be held August 1, 2, and 3 2008 in Springfield, Missouri. 

For those who do not know, Park Day traditionally takes place the first weekend in August.  It is not just one day as the name suggests, but rather three full days of events, fun, seeing old friends and meeting new ones.  The event started as a result of the flight of the Black population from Springfield following the 1906 lynching of three black men in which the Springfield police were founded to be culpably responsible for their murders.  At one point, Springfield’s black population was 35% of the total population but it dwindled down to 3% to 4% almost overnight where it stays to this day.

I spoke with Lee  Pike, who has been the President of the Springfield Reunion Club for more than 20 years.  He said that there are many activities for everyone.  See the schedule below.

Mr. Pike says that he is the youngest person on the committee and is looking for some young people to come on board so that he can mentor on keeping this tradition alive.

Springfield Reunion Club, Inc.


August 1, 2, 3, 2008 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 1, 2008 8:00 p.m.  ~  1:00 p.m.         

HOSPITALITY  ~  University Plaza Hotel

Teens $7 John Q Hammons Room featuring DJ “Pretty Tony” from Springfield, Missouri

Adults ~ $10  University Plaza Convention Center featuring  ~ “DJ1”  from Jacksonville, Arkansas 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 2, 2008          

Deer Lake Golf Course
Contacts: Robert “Bevo” Looney 
831-4443 or Jesse Hill 865-3588
Silver Springs Park
Contacts: Randy Smith  
Vincent Stout   

Sunshine Lanes ~ 1500 W. Sunshine
Contacts: Sidney Needem   865-1203

Skip Thompson   862-7225
Richard Young    882-1737 12:00 NOON         

Contact: Carlene Ferguson  869-1443
1:30 p.m.  ~  4:00 p.m.    PARK DAY REUNION PICNICSilver Springs Park9:00 p.m.  ~  1:30 p.m.   PARK DAY REUNION DANCE
University Plaza Convention Center featuring  ~  “Something Extra”  ~ 
Wichita, Kansas
$15.00 in advance  ~  $20.00 at the door


SUNDAY, AUGUST 3, 2008     


Go To The Church Of Your Choice


Contact:  Samuel Knox     864-74446:00 p.m.                       

Contact: Jane Pike   869-8091  (For pageant information or donations)

For Hotel Reservations, check ~   or call 417-869-5010 

Springfield’s own, Sterling Macer wrote and directed a movie based in a Missouri town and the setting was Park Day. Buy it now at Amazon and add to your Springfield Black history collection.

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