‘We just need community support’: Metro groups leading effort to empower Black community

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A coalition of Black-led organizations is leading an effort aimed at empowering the Black community.

Ajia Morris is dedicated to building up Kansas City’s eastside. She’s the co-founder of The Greenline Initiative and works to increase Black generational wealth through home ownership.

“There’s so much talent, so many resources,” she said. “We just need the community support. We can’t rise as a community if we’re leaving people behind.”

Morris’ organization is partnering with Generating Income for Tomorrow (GIFT) and the Urban League of Greater Kansas City for Give Black KC, an online fundraiser happening all day Thursday.

“Oftentimes we talk about the historic, the past injustices that we’ve experienced but right now we’re asking for dollars that go directly to organizations that are righting these past wrongs,” she said.

The coalition is trying to raise $600,000. The money would be allocated three ways, focusing on workforce development, affordable housing and supporting Black businesses.

The Urban League plans to use their share of the donations to support programs that enable economic self-reliance in the Black community.

“This money will go a long way in the work that we do,” said Jauqua Preston Wilkins, the vice president of programs and operations at the Urban League. “[Things like] helping kids get into college, helping the workforce get higher pay and livable wages, helping people reach their financial goals.”

The funds would allow GIFT to provide grants to Black-owned business and it would help Morris’ organization renovate more blighted homes in the urban core.

“We can go from renovating two homes at a time up to five homes and that is very significant,” Morris said.

Three separate groups, working in unison, to close the racial wealth gap and create a system that promotes black success and equity.

“Let’s lift up those people who need it the most and then we can all be more successful together,” Morris said.

To donate to Give Black KC, click here.

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