Building the Beloved Community

In the greater Springfield, MO area.

Chamber of Commerce offers anti-racism training August 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbutcher @ 12:35 am

Tim Rosenbury, 2010 chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, discusses why fighting racism is a top priority for the organization this year. Check it out.


Learn about Springfield’s Hispanic community July 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbutcher @ 5:36 pm

Springfield’s Hispanic community may not be what you think it is. Click here to hear Yolanda Lorge, president of Grupo Latinoamericano, discuss diversity within the area’s Hispanic  population.


An invitation to diversity discussion June 25, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbutcher @ 1:55 pm

David Stoeffler, the new editor of the News-Leader is interested in diversity in our community!!

Check out his blog entry–and get the conversation going.


Why Everyone Needs to Know Vincent Chin June 23, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Phil Snider @ 9:33 pm

Many thanks to Eugene Cho for sharing this piece with us. Be sure to check out his blog.

Vincent Chin is no American Idol but he is someone that every American needs to know but unfortunately, hardly anyone will remember or know – even during this week as we mark the “anniversary” of his brutal beating and subsequent death on June 23, 1982. It’s important to remember because how we recall the past can be so important as it informs our future. If you haven’t heard, the world is changing and that includes the country that I call home – the United States. And in a society where Diversity is the New Normal and an increase in tension with Immigration and Xenophobia issues, it’s that much more important for people to know about Vincent Chin.

Who is Vincent Chin?

Vincent Chin was a 27-year-old Chinese-American raised in Metro Detroit. A week before his wedding, Read the rest of this entry »


Task force: Extend rights to all June 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbutcher @ 7:25 pm

Check this out from KSPR:

In Springfield, you can be kicked off a city bus, fired from your job, or denied housing for being gay. Now, after a 6-month study, a city task force says that needs to change.

Springfield city code prevents discrimination in matters of housing, public accommodations, and employment. The protected groups are: age, race, creed, color, disability, religion, sex, national origin, and ancestry.

The Human Rights Commission Task Force would like to see 2 more groups added to that list — sexual orientation and gender identity.


Congrats to the Pratts! June 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbutcher @ 10:50 pm

Francine Pratt, president of the Springfield chapter of the NAACP, and Wes Pratt, an NAACP officer, chair of its legal redress committee and co-founder of The Gathering, were honored today as two of our most important community volunteers.

They were among 10 outstanding volunteers that received 2010 Gift of Time Awards through a program sponsored by the  Council of Churches of the Ozarks and other area organizations.

In the three years since they moved to Springfield, where Wes grew up, the Pratts have helped invigorate our community through their many leadership initiatives.


What is NAACP in Springfield up to? June 12, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — lbutcher @ 11:25 pm

How many legal redress complaints did the NAACP-Springfield Branch receive in 2009?

61 complaints in one year—can you believe it? The number of people who seek help for discrimination and harassment in our community is troubling indeed.

But helping people assert their legal rights is only one of the chapter’s  many activities during its first year under new leadership.

Camielle Famous (see “Soldier of Love” entry posted 3/5/10) compiled a amazing list of  chapter accomplishments in 2009. Just some of the highlights:

  • Grew to more than 120 members!!
  • Participated in KSMU radio broadcast with the League of Women Voters,  minority teacher recruitment for Springfield Public Schools, community ownership of Lincoln Memorial Cemetery,  Missouri State University Multicultural Student Orientation, Hispanic Heritage Month events, Breast Cancer Awareness tea and walk-a-thon and other community events
  • Started First Friday fundraisers (at Q Enoteca!) to raise money for student scholarships
  • Founded Minorities in Business
  • Launched Boys Booked on Barbershops/Girls Booked on Beauty Shops literacy program in Springfield
  • Initiated a collaboration between the Missouri Department of Transportation and NAACP to advocate for contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses
  • Sponsored the 7th Annual Youth Empowerment conference in partnership with Missouri State University, Springfield Public Schools, Drury University and other organizations
  • Launched the first community-wide African American Read-In, bringing two excellent speakers to Springfield  for pre-events and culminating in a poetry event featuring talented local youth and adults
  • Hosted extremely successful Centennial Freedom Fund Ball!
  • Provided guest speakers for Chase Banking Services, Girls Tea, the Juneteenth celebration at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Drury University Summer Scholars program and Pipkin Middle School commencement
  • Hosted a Welcome Wagon in conjunction with The Gathering
  • Established partnerships with Drury University, Springfield Police Department, Mayor’s Human Rights Commission, MSU Diversity Council, Juvenile Detention Alternative and other organizations
  • Heard presentations from Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, City Manager Greg Burris, Victory Circle Peer Support, Greene County Juvenile Justice System, Springfield Police Department and others

On top of that, the NAACP Youth Council, which NAACP President Francine Pratt also leads, had its own busy agenda. The youth made toiletries bags for Missouri Hotel residents; went to National Forum for Black Public Administrators meeting in Oakland, Calif.; placed flags at Lincoln Memorial Cemetery;  and traveled to Memphis to visit the National Civil Rights Museum.