Kansas City faces historic inequities that cities and states across the United States have struggled to overcome for as long as this nation has existed. We don’t run from the hard work of progress, however. Justice, equality and fairness are fundamental to our future as a community.

Our commitment to equality is not a platitude. Look to leaders in our City Council and government, elected representatives in state government and congress, economic development agencies, chambers of commerce, boards, commissions, police & fire departments, universities, community colleges, public school district and school boards – and you will see a reflection of the diversity that makes us stronger. We are committed to improving more each day.

We welcome the world to Kansas City everyday.And that means we welcome all races, gender identities, religions, ages and sexual orientations. In the coming 18 months alone, Kansas City will play host to more than 200 conventions welcoming more than 430,000 visitors from every walk of life.

There’s no doubt that these days, across the country, trust is strained and a conscious effort is necessary to make sure that all persons, every citizen in any state knows that they are valued, safe, and welcomed.

We want to make sure members of the NAACP and all persons who have concerns over safety or discrimination know, Kansas City welcomes you. I welcome the chance to discuss these issues with representatives of NAACP of Kansas City, cities across Missouri, and nationally. We don’t run from the challenges we face in Kansas City, but we welcome the world to be a part of our constant effort to build a more just, tolerant, and loving city.

http://kcmayor.org/blog/statement-from-mayor-sly-james-on-the-recent-travel-advisory-issued-by-the-naacp-for-the-state-of-missouri