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The Center for Public Integrity in partnership with The Kansas City Call is hosting a conversation on economic growth and opportunity in the majority-Black East Side of Kansas City, Missouri, which has been rocked by the pandemic and has faced years of racist economic disinvestment. 

In April, a Public Integrity investigation revealed that the Paycheck Protection Program, which was supposed to prioritize markets like Kansas City’s East Side, instead supported businesses there at a lower rate than in affluent, largely white ZIP codes in the city. The loan disbursement mirrored decades-old redlining patterns. Editor Jamie Smith Hopkins spoke with Black business owners, civic leaders and elected officials who said that inequitable distribution of the PPP illustrates the country’s ongoing struggle to reverse historical racism and unequal investment.

Public Integrity is hosting a panel with some of the community leaders in Kansas City who are doing the work to address these issues. The virtual discussion will take place on Zoom on Wednesday, June 30, 2021, at 6:30 EDT (5:30 PM CST). Register to be on the call here.  The discussion will also be live streamed on Public Integrity’s Facebook page.

You can find more information about the event and register to be on the call here.

The panelists include:

  • Dr. Karen Curls- As the principal of Curls Jude Joseph Property Group, Curls is committed to providing quality commercial and residential services, construction management and HUD Section 3 consulting and compliance monitoring with a special emphasis on inner-city communities.
  • Kim Randolph- Randolph is the CEO and President of Heartland Black Chamber of Commerce, which creates partnerships, resources and initiatives to support and grow Black enterprises. In addition, Randolph is the CEO of INC U LLC, and JV Partner of KWAMEkc. 
  • Dan Smith- Smith provides organizational leadership and direction to The Porter House KC. He has started,owned, and operated 5 businesses.
  • Nia Richardson- Richardson oversees the day-to-day operations of the KC BizCare Office, a free business resource, advocacy and information center for new and existing businesses operating within Kansas City.  

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Ashley is Audience engagement editor for the Center for Public Integrity. She believes that journalism...