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Common Good: A Model for Community Engagement & Racial Equity

6:30 pm
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Common Good: A Model for Community Engagement & Racial Equity

6:30 pm
Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

Common Good

In the fourth program of our KC Common Good series, panelists and community leaders discussed ways to create a city-wide cooperative effort to address violence and violent crime in Kansas City. They talked about how and why racial equality and racial equity are keys to reducing crime and violence. Can we create a shared vision in which all Metro residents feel invested in making Kansas City safer and more equitable?


Irene Caudillo was appointed President and CEO of El Centro in December 2013. Irene earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. After graduating college, she created children and youth programs for nonprofit organizations, including El Centro and Wyandotte Mental Health Association, in Wyandotte County. In 1994, she took a job with the Kansas City Missouri Health Department as Minority Health Outreach Director. Her duties included educating health providers on how cultural beliefs and practices impact health behavior. In 1997, she returned to Wyandotte County as Executive Director for Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Inc., an agency devoted to developing and maintaining collaborative efforts to improve the quality of life for Wyandotte County youth. In 2004, she joined Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas as the Director of Family Strengthening where she directed and managed their social services throughout their 21-county service area. After serving as the Director of Clinic Operations for Swope Health Services, she “came home” to El Centro as the Chief Program Officer in anticipation of transitioning into the President & CEO position upon the retirement of the past President and CEO.

Terry Dunn is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of JE Dunn and JE Dunn Construction Group, Inc., the holding company for JE Dunn Construction Company and other affiliates across the nation. He has been with the company for 39 years. Under his leadership, JE Dunn has grown to be one of the nation’s leading providers of construction management services, design-build, and integrated project delivery. He participates in all facets of the business with extensive experience in construction operations. Mr. Dunn is a member of the Board of Directors of Kansas City Southern Railway (NYSE: KSU) and a former Chairman and Board Member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. He was previously the Chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Builder’s Association Education Committee, President of the American Cancer Society Central Kansas City Unit, and Vice Chairman of the Economic Development Corporation. Mr. Dunn is active in many civic and community organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America National Executive Committee (Board Member and Vice President), Civic Council of Greater Kansas City (Board Member and former Chairman), Kansas University of Medicine and Biosciences (Chairman and Trustee), Midwest Research Institute (Board of Trustees), and UMKC Bloch School (Board Member). Mr. Dunn received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Rockhurst University in 1971, followed by his Masters of Business Administration from the University of Missouri at Kansas City in 1973.

Mike English serves as the Executive Director of Turn the Page KC. As the organization’s first Executive Director, Mike established Turn the Page KC as a 501C3 nonprofit organization, raised operating funds, and developed awareness for the organization in the Kansas City community. Mike manages the organization’s growing staff, fundraising efforts, and finances. Mike reports to a committed group of board members led by Mayor Sly James. Over the past few years, Turn the Page KC has served as the backbone organization for Kansas City’s 3rd grade reading collective impact initiative. During this time, the percentage of students reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade has increased, and Kansas City, MO has closed the gap between the city’s proficiency rate and that of the State of Missouri by seven percentage points. Mike earned his undergraduate degree in Philosophy with a concentration in Politics and Economics from the University of Notre Dame. He earned his Master’s Degree in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago, focusing his studies on public finance. Mike resides in Kansas City with his wife Corie, his sons Finnegan and Beckett, and his cat Moo-Moo.

Rev. Hartsfield, II has formally been in the ministry for more than two decades. Rev. Hartsfield, II accepted God’s call into the preaching ministry in 1982. On January 16, 1983, Rev. Hartsfield, II preached his initial sermon at Metropolitan and quickly emerged as a sought-after preacher locally and across the country. During this tenure, he also has served in a variety of ministry roles within the institutionalized church. He was an assistant pastor at First Mount Pleasant Baptist Church before becoming its pastor. While living in Atlanta, Rev. Hartsfield, II was also minister of music at Linden Short Institutional CME Church and Calvary United Methodist Church. As an associate minister of Metropolitan, Rev. Hartsfield, II served as the minister of evangelism. In addition, Rev. Hartsfield, II has served in a leadership capacity for various para-church organizations. He was president of the Youth Convention for the National Baptist Convention of America, Inc. He also founded a church collaboration organization in Atlanta. He was a ministry partner with the Congress of National Black Churches during its existence. Rev. Hartsfield, II’s ministry gifts are most evident in preaching and teaching God’s word and also as an accomplished musician and songwriter. Rev. Hartsfield, II has participated in numerous professional sacred recordings. Rev. Hartsfield, II is the CEO of Field of Hearts Productions, a musical production company that began as joint venture between his wife and him. In 2009, Rev. Hartsfield, II became the first professor to be installed to the Fred E. Young Chair of Hebrew Bible at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. During its spring convocation, Rev. Hartsfield, II delivered the E.A. lecture The Bible Addresses Challenges of Urbanization: Hebrew Bible Foray into Selected Theological Issues, prior to the official installation ceremony. Fred E. Young served as Academic Dean and Professor of Old Testament at Central for 33 years. Dr. E.A. Freeman earned every degree offered by Central, was the first African-American to earn the Th.D., and first to serve on Central’s Board. Both Freeman and Young were firmly committed to theological education and racial inclusion. Rev. Hartsfield, II shares and builds on their commitment, especially to social justice issues related to urban congregations and their communities. A native of Kansas City, Mo., Rev. Hartsfield, II attended public schools. His educational credentials consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the Conservatory of Music and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Master of Divinity from Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) and an earned Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible from Emory University. During this educational trek, Rev. Hartsfield, II has been listed in the Who’s Who among undergraduate and graduate students. Hartsfield, II was also inducted into the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.


Rabbi Mark H. Levin is Founding Rabbi of Congregation Beth Torah in Overland Park, Kansas. He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1976, and served Beth Torah for 26 years until his retirement in 2014 to write a book, Praying the Bible.

The innovative idea of intertextuality in the Jewish prayer book (siddur)  underlying Praying the Bible resulted from Rabbi Levin’s 2001 Doctor of Hebrew Union Letters dissertation (DHL) for which he studied with Prof. Lawrence A. Hoffman, PhD, as well as Professors Norman Cohen, PhD and Richard Sarason, PhD of HUC-JIR New York and Cincinnati.

Rabbi Levin has taught these ideas in his shabbat morning rabbinics class at Congregation Beth Torah for over a decade, as well as teaching both locally and nationally as a visiting scholar. He is available as a scholar-in-residence to discuss Biblical quotations in the siddur and mahzor.


Pastor Cassandra Wainright serves as the President of the Concerned Clergy Coalition. Prior to becoming President, she served as the Board Secretary for five years. Pastor Wainright also serves as the Co-Chair of the Youth & Education Task Force alongside her husband, Pastor Calvin Wainright. Together, they have served as Founders & Pastors of Heaven Sent Outreach Ministries since 2003. Pastor Sandy answered her call to the Gospel Ministry in 1995 and has served in various leadership capacities in the ministries she was affiliated with throughout the years which included the Emmanuel Baptist Church, Pentecostal Deliverance Inner-Healing Ministries & Destiny Life Center Ministries. Professionally, Pastor Wainright serves as the Program Director of a local non-profit organization, Calvary Community Outreach Network (CCON). In this capacity, she works to deliver meaningful programming that will serve to benefit those infected and affected by HIV; Youth Development and Health & Wellness. She has worked to develop HIV materials and tools as well as assisting in the recruitment of several African American churches to become engaged in this critical work. Through her work with CCON, she received special recognition from the Kansas City AIDS Planning Council and was presented with the very first “Making A Difference” Award as an Outstanding Faith Based Organization in 2014 for her contributions within the Kansas City community.







Thanks to support from the William T. Kemper Foundation, we prepared facts and statistics about equity in cities and neighborhoods, a starting point for our discussion about creating a shared, metro-wide vision to make Kansas City safer and less violent. The FACT SHEET is compiled by a professional research librarian. Our librarian also suggests readings on the subject. We encourage you to read the articles before attending “Common Good.”

Equity vs. Equality
“Racial equity refers to what a genuinely non-racist society would look like. In a racially equitable society, the distribution of society’s benefits and burdens would not be skewed by race. In other words, racial equity would be a reality in which a person is no more or less likely to experience society’s benefits or burdens just because of the color of their skin. This is in contrast to the current state of affairs in which a person of color is more likely to live in poverty, be imprisoned, drop out of high school, be unemployed and experience poor health outcomes like diabetes, heart disease, depression and other potentially fatal diseases. Racial equity holds society to a higher standard. It demands that we pay attention not just to individual-level discrimination, but to overall social outcomes.” (source) A classic meme by Craig Froehle illustrates the difference between “equity” and “equality”:
How does inequity affect finances?
“A new study conducted by researchers at Stanford, Harvard and the Census Bureau, finds that in 99 percent of neighborhoods in the United States, black boys earn less in adulthood than white boys who come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. This undermines the widely-held belief that class, not race, is the most fundamental predictor of economic outcomes for children in the U.S.” (source) “The researchers found that the racial wealth gap applies even to the country’s wealthiest families: Black children whose parents were in the top 1 percent of earners, with incomes at an average of $1.1 million, grew up to have incomes 12.4 percent lower than white children who grew up in households with similar incomes.” (source) “The research has shown that where children live matters deeply in whether they prosper as adults. On Monday the Census Bureau, in collaboration with researchers at Harvard and Brown, published nationwide data that will make it possible to pinpoint — down to the census tract, a level relevant to individual families — where children of all backgrounds have the best shot at getting ahead.” (source) ———- Incomes of adults who, as children, lived in these areas around Kansas City (source) ———- Income levels around Kansas City (source) ———-
How does inequity affect health?
“Racial health disparities are associated with substantial annual economic losses nationally, including an estimated $35 billion in excess health care expenditures, $10 billion in illness-related lost productivity, and nearly $200 billion in premature deaths. Concerted efforts to reduce health disparities could thus have immense economic and social value.” (source) “There are sharp disparities in health outcomes with vulnerable populations often having significantly poorer health outcomes than the population as a whole. … Years of Potential Life Lost [YPLL] shows this geographic disparity. Rural communities and urban communities often have YPLLs double that of adjacent suburban communities. … Urban counties have the greatest concentration of people of color and low-income residents while rural counties have greater concentrations of the elderly and poor access to health providers.” (source) Life expectancy in KCMO by zip code (source) ———– Life expectancy around KCMO (source) ———- Health / Access to Health Services (source) In Kansas City, MO In Kansas City, KS
How does inequity affect education?
“Let’s say that a school system’s goal is for all middle school children to attain proficiency to conduct online research for their classes. This school system’s baseline is that some middle schools have a stronger IT infrastructure than others…It happens that…the IT infrastructure is least robust in those schools that disproportionately serve students of color.” “Now let’s say that the school system receives a grant to improve middle school IT infrastructures. … Should this grant be distributed on the basis of equality or equity?. … If you opt for equal funding per school, racial gaps will remain, and you will not address existing racial inequities. If you opt for equitable funding, the outcome is that students in School B above now have the opportunity to perform along the lines of students in School A, which they would not have had if you had distributed funding equally.” (source) Educational Attainment in Kansas City (source)