(January 17, 2017) KANSAS CITY, MO – Avila University, the Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence and its partners invite the community to Troost: A Vision for Peace and Action. The conference will be held February 8-9, 2017 in the Whitfield Center on the campus of Avila University.
The conference will discuss the root causes of inequality around Troost Avenue, outline a vision for peace and develop a plan for taking action. Troost Avenue has long been considered a racial dividing line in Kansas City and carries a rich history of peace and conflict that everyone in Kansas City should know.
Fr. Alexii Altschul will be the keynote speaker and is the founder of Reconciliation Services. Fr. Alexi lived and worked on Troost Avenue for over 30 years building a community and making it a place where people want to stay. He will discuss the rich history of Troost, the problems created by hyper-gentrification and share ways we can take action and promote development without displacement.
The conference will emphasize the importance of taking action and will host community leaders who are striving for justice in the region. Special honor will be given to the Avila University Black Student Union’s Black History Month theme “Because of Them, We Can.”
Facilitators will include Fr. Alexi Altschul from Reconciliation Services, Pastor Donna Simon from St. Mark Hope and Peace, Margaret May from the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, One Struggle KC cofounder Diane Burkholder, and Rev. Dr. Wallace S. Hartsfield from the Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church.
The conference opens on February 8 at 6:00 p.m. with a performance of Bingo on the Boulevard. This one-act play is inspired by true stories surrounding Troost Avenue, including those of Fr. Altschul. The production will be a staged reading with audience talkback following. Bingo on the Boulevard earned “Best of Venue” recognition in last summer’s Fringe Festival as well as highest overall festival attendance with five sell-out houses at the Unicorn Theatre’s Jerome Stage.
The conference concludes on Thursday with poetry readings by Avila University’s Artist-in-Residence, Stanley Banks.
Avila University’s Buchanan Initiative for Peace and Nonviolence is sponsoring the conference, along with the Center for Global Studies and Social Justice, CSJ Center for Heritage, Spirituality and Service, and Avila Assistant Professor of English, Kelly Minerva, Ph.D. The Avila Black Student Union will serve as a partner.
Wednesday February 8 will begin at 6:00 p.m. and last until 8:00 p.m. The Thursday session, February 9, will begin with registration and coffee at 8:30 a.m. and last until the conclusion of the conference at 4:30 p.m.
Registration is free, but space is limited.
For more info & registration: http://peace.www.avila.edu
Avila University, a Catholic University sponsored by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is a values-based community of learning providing liberal arts, professional, undergraduate and graduate education to prepare students for responsible, lifelong contributions to the global community. Our approach to education brings out the best in our students, so they can bring out the best in others.