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News Brief

Jan. 16, 2024 |  By: Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

'Black Excellence' sees World Cup 2026 as major MO opportunity

group of black women

By Farah Siddiqi - Public News Service

Major Kansas City developments -- such as the upcoming 2026 World Cup and building the first women's professional sports stadium -- are driving gentrification that could displace or exclude the Black community. However, there's a movement to ensure whatever happens is equitable for all.

Black Excellence is a group of professionals and entrepreneurs seeking to uplift the Black community in Kansas City. Registration has been extended through February for its 22-week leadership training. In the "Ascend Cohort," people build a three-year plan to grow their household income by 30%.

Black Excellence founder Craig Moore said it's important for everyone to get a piece of the pie.

"That's going to bring Kansas City billions and billions of dollars over the next 10 years," he said. "How can the Black community make sure that they're ready to benefit [from] these new resources and opportunities that are coming down?"

Black Excellence was awarded a grant by Health Forward Foundation in support of the mission to strengthen small, community-based organizations led by and serving people of color or rural areas. Moore said grants have helped them develop online tools such as one known as Proximity, which is also used by the Heartland Black Chamber.

Moore pointed to a lot of new development where Juniper Gardens was just bought out in Wyandotte County. He said it's important for people to change their perspective, finding ways to upscale and increase their income so they can't be bought out -- and could instead be engaged in these types of opportunities.

"Those things do happen," he said. "Gentrification happens. We see it happen all the time. But I think that the biggest thing of it is that we're never at the table early enough."

He added that it's equally critical to vote for people and develop the right types of leaders who will make decisions that integrate resources fairly, into all neighborhoods, and support Missouri communities as a whole.