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Kansas City civic groups support renaming J.C. Nichols Fountain, Parkway

JC Nichols Fountain.jpg
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 18:33:50-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three major civic organizations in Kansas City have lent their support to the proposal to rename the J.C. Nichols Fountain in Mill Creek Park and the adjacent J.C. Nichols Parkway.

On Friday afternoon, leaders for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City and Visit KC issued a joint statement in support of the proposal.

“At this critical moment in our history, renaming the fountain and parkway would be an important step into a better future and a concrete symbol of a Kansas City that is a welcoming community with opportunity for all,” KC Chamber chairwoman Carolyn Watley said in the joint statement. “The Chamber is committed to the work of ending the systemic racism that has impacted African-Americans in Kansas City for too long.”

The statement comes after KCMO Parks and Recreation Commissioner Chris Goode proposed changing the name of the fountain and parkway as a way to “stop turning a blind eye towards racism of past and present.”

Goode has suggested that the fountain be renamed “Dream Fountain” and the street named after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Parks and Recreation Board plans to hold two sessions for the public to give their input on the proposal. Those sessions have not yet been set.

Read the full statements from all three organizations below:

“At this critical moment in our history, renaming the fountain and parkway would be an important step into a better future and a concrete symbol of a Kansas City that is a welcoming community with opportunity for all. The Chamber is committed to the work of ending the systemic racism that has impacted African-Americans in Kansas City for too long. We must advance agendas that create lasting change, reflecting our desire for an equitable Kansas City where every resident can prosper.”
—KC Chamber Chair Carolyn Watley


“Kansas City can only be vibrant and successful when our prosperity is truly shared by all. This work will be difficult and requires long-term commitment, because we have a lot of history to overcome. We can take an important step by ensuring our public structures reflect our values of diversity and inclusion.”
—Civic Council Chair Steve Edwards


“At Visit KC, we strive to connect Kansas City to the world. The simple but important action of renaming these memorials is a first step as we continue to make our region more welcoming to visitors and convention attendees. For us to truly be the cosmopolitan city we wish to be, we must recognize opportunities to enact change, even if in seemingly small but symbolic ways.”
—Visit KC President and CEO Jason Fulvi