KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation Board is considering renaming the J.C. Nichols Fountain in Mill Creek Park and J.C. Nichols Parkway after Commissioner Chris Goode made the request Tuesday in a letter to the board.
“The time has come for us to stop turning a blind eye towards racism of past and present,” Goode wrote. “There is no immediate resolution to racism, that of which has been deeply embedded for over 400 years into the fabric of this country. We can, however, make a collective decision to simply do the right thing, now.”
Goode said in the letter that he would like the fountain to be called "Dream Fountain," while the parkway should be named after Martin Luther King Jr.
"Dr. King stood for all people in the face of hatred and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country. His purpose of peace & unity should be celebrated and more accurately represents the true heart of this city," Goode wrote.
The board, according to a news release, said it is “imperative to move swiftly as well as thoughtfully to ensure this process is transparent and inclusive.”
KCMOMayor Quinton Lucas said in a statement that he supports Goode’s efforts and the time to remove memorials to Nichols has “long passed."
“No person accelerated white flight, redlining and racial division in the Kansas City area more than J.C. Nichols,” Lucas said.
Residents will have two opportunities to provide input at meetings during the next 30 days, but the meetings have not yet been scheduled. They also can email comments or questions to KCParksEngage@kcmo.org.