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Urban Neighborhood Initiative purchases Kansas City's Wendell Phillips School for youth programs

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Posted at 10:18 PM, Jul 22, 2023

Kansas City's Urban Neighborhood Initiative hosted local leaders Saturday to hear policy recommendations from scholars in the urban core with a common goal - to better our community.

The event was the last step of the group's policy and advocacy collective that's been ongoing for the past few weeks,.

During that time, students have been learning the history and impacts of racial inequities and coming up with their own suggestions to help eliminate those inequities.

Dr. Jamee Rodgers, President and CEO of the Urban Neighborhood Initiative Kansas City, says it is important that students get this opportunity.

“When I hear these young people talking and they come up with these brilliant ideas and they take them and expand them, to see that light bulb go off is why we do this,” Rodgers said.

Students addressed topics like housing, education, healthcare, criminal justice and city governance.

“Sometimes they just need that extra push so that they can get out of their comfort zone and be the amazing human beings that they are,” Community Impact Director for Urban Neighborhood Initiative Sakina Moore said.

Rodgers is hoping to give these students a place to unlock their potential.

“We’re just trying to invest capital, invest in human capital, the investment we make in the youth today you know will pay dividends in the future,” Community Engagement Coordinator for the Urban Neighborhood Initiative Saleem Rasheed said.

Rodgers and other leaders with Urban Neighborhood Initiative says being able to use the Wendell Phillips School will offer not only programs for students, but will house services for the community.

“You don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from because we are providing that for you, you don’t have to worry about how my clothes are going to get washed because I am providing that for you,” Moore said.

Leaders at the Urban Neighborhood Initiative say unlocking these doors will give them the tools to unlock potential in youth in our community.