Government & Politics

KC to host roundtable on programs for young people

Mayor Sly James created Club KC following a 2011 shooting on the Plaza that involved large groups of young people as a way to give youths something to do on weekend nights.
Mayor Sly James created Club KC following a 2011 shooting on the Plaza that involved large groups of young people as a way to give youths something to do on weekend nights. The Kansas City Star

Kansas City Mayor Sly James is urging organizations serving youth to participate in an upcoming roundtable discussion intended to create better partnerships and collaborations.

The event is planned for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St.

(If a seventh game of the World Series is played, the event will move to 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Gregg Klice Community Center, near 18th and Vine streets.)

“In order for our youth to be given the best chance to succeed, it is important for these organizations to be talking to one another,” James said in a statement. “This type of collaboration will help to identify and address gaps in youth services and also allow for services to our youth to be enhanced and strengthened.”

About 50 organizations have already committed to joining the mayor in the discussion, but any organization or individual working with Kansas City youth is invited to attend. Those wishing to participate should contact Chantell Garrett, with the mayor’s office of civic and community engagement, at chantell.garrett@kcmo.org.

Mayoral spokeswoman Joni Wickham said the idea for the roundtable discussion grew out of an event Aug. 12, when community members met at the Kauffman Foundation to talk about ways to help young men of color succeed.

That event was part of President Barack Obama’s initiative called My Brother’s Keeper, which started earlier this year to improve opportunities for young men.

Wickham said many people talked at the Aug. 12 session about the need to do more for Kansas City’s youth, but the mayor decided City Hall should first get a handle on what is already going on for youth in the city. That’s the purpose of this first roundtable, which officials hope will grow into a quarterly session.

This first session will feature groups from Rockhurst University, Mattie Rhodes Center, the YMCA, Niles Home for Children and many others, Garrett said. Representatives will be able to share the missions of their organizations and explore networking opportunities. Organizations can also get more information about My Brother’s Keeper.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to lhorsley@kcstar.com.

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