In pursuit of racial equality in St. Joseph

We talk with Kimberly Warren from MidCity Excellence Community Learning Center, Inc. about what our community can do for racial equality.

Posted: May 29, 2020 9:34 PM
Updated: May 29, 2020 9:40 PM

O'Brien: "The death of George Floyd and subsequent protests all over the country including right here in St. Joseph have shined a light on racial inequality here at home. MidCity Excellence is a 5013c with a mission to enhance race relations with an array of initiatives... Kim, I have to ask you because you have a unique perspective, do you feel like the leadership in our community values black and brown lives?"

Warren: "Yes and no. I do believe they see we are an intricate part of the community, but in some leadership roles, some roles in career and hierarchy of jobs and development, we're still struggling with that. There is no representation in certain industries, on the board and trustees, as supervisors and managers and CEOs. I do believe because some people are impoverished and economically disadvantaged that maybe their ideas and their voice are not being heard."

O'Brien: "I know there are protestors at the mall as we speak, do you find that to be effective? I know you've said that we can march and we can have prayer vigils and that's not really going to do anything, what would you say even to the protestors that are out there right now?"

Warren: "We need to peacefully protest 'cause sometimes people don't recognize and discuss our anger and our disenfranchisment with the status quo, however it does have it's role, but after you march, after you lock arms and pray and walk up and down the street, we still have a mandate, and we have more than enough people coming to our doors at the community center and saying, "I need counseled, I need help with math, my kid needs help with their mental health, I need help with this computer," and so we don't want them to have a knee-jerk response and go home.

We want something that can help us sustain our organizations and help us fulfill something that will help us enhance the quality of life of people. After you march, we get a good, warm feeling of being part of a cause, but really we need you to join forces with us and undergird the mission so we don't lose any leverage or stronghold, and forward motion, and daily action is really what we need. Daily action and daily support with your expertise area-matching it with our budget and our mission and our visions. That's going to take us a lifetime to fulfill."

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