Latinos

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Black Bob Elementary is one of Olathe’s flagship schools. It’s in the middle of the city, surrounded by neighborhoods, and just a few blocks away, there's a big shopping center with  a Starbucks and Walgreens.

But it didn’t always look that way. Dr. Alison Banikowski, deputy superintendent of Olathe Schools, remembers what the city looked like when she first arrived in 1982. 

“I served for the first year I was here with Blackbob Elementary, and it was really literally out in a field,”

Hannah Copeland / KCUR 89.3

Saturday night's mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, marked the deadliest shooting on U.S. soil in recent history, with 49 dead and 53 more wounded. The LGBT community wasn't the only community that bore the brunt of this attack — the vast majority of the victims were Latino or Latina, and other people of color. How is Kansas City's local Latino community reacting to the news?

Nineteen-year-old Claudia Rivera shares a single-story tract home in Liberal, Kansas, with her boyfriend, 20-year-old Jesùs Varela.

Last month, Varela’s mother moved in so she could watch Rivera’s baby boy, Fabian, while Rivera works at the Dollar General store and Valera pulls down a shift at the local meatpacking plant.

Today, it's hard to imagine baseball without Hispanic players. But for a long time, Latinos, like their African-American peers, had a color barrier to overcome in major-league baseball.

Guests:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

From immigration reform to education and health care, several recurring issues were on the minds of people attending The National Council of La Raza's annual conference in Kansas City this week.

Since Saturday, conference attendees have been milling about the Kansas City Convention Center, going from workshop to workshop to learn about some of the greatest challenges facing Latinos in the United States. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR

The Democratic presidential primary was being fought in Kansas City Monday. 

Three out of five announced candidates – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley – were in town to address the National Conference of La Raza, meeting in Kansas City

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders will be in Kansas City Monday for the National Council of La Raza’s annual conference for Latino civil rights.

But some Latinos are disappointed that all of the Republican contenders turned down La Raza’s invitation to speak.

The Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights / Flickr--CC

 

Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders will speak Monday at the National Council of La Raza, which kicks off this weekend in Kansas City

But none of the Republican candidates are scheduled to appear.

National Council of La Raza President and CEO Janet Murgia is back in her hometown, and she's brought thousands of people with her for the La Raza's annual conference. She talks with Steve Kraske about her family, politics, and the greatest challenges facing Latinos today. 

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The National Council of La Raza is holding its annual conference in Kansas City. The series of events brings together advocates, business leaders, politicians and others around issues of importance to Hispanic populations throughout the United States.

But the organization's name, La Raza, gives some people pause. 

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

As the National Council of La Raza prepares to convene its annual conference in Kansas City, a lively and heartfelt conversation about the term 'la raza' -- translated imperfectly as 'the race', but meaning something closer to 'my tribe', 'the big family' or 'my people'. 

Courtesy photo / National Council of La Raza

The National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the country, is coming to Kansas City for its annual conference, starting Saturday.

The four-day conference takes place July 11-14 and features workshops and speakers that will address some the most important issues in the Latino community.

This year, the conference includes two 2016 Democratic presidential candidates — Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley. Both will speak on Monday and address important issues facing the Latino community.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR

If you ask almost anyone from the community of Argentine in Kansas City, Kansas what to see in their neighborhood, they’ll tell you to go see the mural.

The landmark that stretches across a block of Metropolitan Avenue is a point of pride for the residents — it’s only been tagged with graffiti twice since it was painted 17 years ago.

Alex Smith / Heartland Health Monitor

For customers stepping inside Abarrotes Delicias, the noise, traffic and heat of the surrounding Kansas City, Kansas, neighborhood seem to disappear.

The small store offers everything from tacos to snacks to money transfers – or just  an air-conditioned place to hang out and watch TV on a lazy afternoon.

Owner Graciela Martinez says she tries to provide a welcoming personal touch when serving her customers, who comprise a diverse sample of nearby residents.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

An updated computer lab at the Mattie Rhodes Center in the Historic Northeast will help Kansas City's Latino community access the technology they need for work and school.

The League of United Latin America Citizens, or LULAC, runs the Empower Hispanic America technology center housed at Mattie Rhodes, 148 N. Topping Ave, Kansas City, Missouri. AT&T donated $200,000 to LULAC to update seven of its community technology centers.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Gabina Castañeda has run a daycare out of her home for many years. Her own kids have grown up and are in school, but she watches a 3-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 5-year-old five days a week. One day last week they were busy scooping up Easter eggs with plastic spoons — working on coordination, colors, numbers and sharing, in both English and Spanish. A few years ago, this whole in-home-child care operation would have been against the law.

Lexie’s Law

In 2004, 13-month-old Lexie Engelman suffered fatal injuries at a Johnson County day care. The tragic incident led Lexie’s Law legislation in Kansas in 2010. The law mandates inspections, background checks, training and licensure for home care providers who care for children outside of their family more than 20 hours per week.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

Both Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas have seen their Latino population grow in the past 25 years. And though the highest concentration of Latinos in Kansas City live in Wyandotte County, the number of Latinos living in both counties is about the same, nearly 40,000 people.

The population is growing at a rate that's fairly new to Johnson County, whose Latino population has nearly doubled in the past 15 years. I talked to Latinos living in both counties about the opportunities and differences between life in both counties.

Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

When national news editors review the top stories of 2014, Ebola, Isis and the World Cup might top the list.

But when we talk to editors of some hyper-local Kansas City papers, very different stories emerge.

Joe Jarosz, managing editor, Northeast News:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

In November, President Obama announced sweeping changes to immigration policy via executive action.

The action, which protects about 4.3 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States from deportation, has been met with controversy nationwide.

But Hispanic communities in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo., say the measure is a step in the right direction.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Lynda Callon, longtime director of the Community Action Center in Kansas City's Westside died Sunday after a very short illness.

Callon was a fierce advocate for Latino day workers and others in the community. She pushed to create a haven where day workers could get food and clothing as they gathered under the I-35 bridge waiting for work.

elmamboworld.com

Miguel DeLeon is a man of many aliases. To some, he's El Mambo. To others, El Pionero. After nearly three decades leading Latin bands and teaching music in Kansas City, he moved to Phoenix, but he's back for a visit, playing gigs and teaching an Afrocuban drumming workshop. 

Sergio Troncoso

Sergio Troncoso writes books dealing with the communities we belong to and the borders that surround us. Every summer he crosses his own borders from his home in New York to teach creative writing to local high schoolers, at the George Caleb Bingham Academy for the Arts.

Donna Lou Morgan

Science fiction fans will recognize him as Commander William Adama from Battlestar Galactica, but Edward James Olmos is also well known for his activism in the Latino and Chicano community. 

On the first half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske sits down with Olmos to discuss his long career in Hollywood and his numerous efforts to reach out to Chicano youth. Olmos gave the Cesar Chavez Lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday.

Guest:

thisisbossi / Flickr-CC

Coming from dozens of countries, from Mexico and the Caribbean in the north to Brazil and Argentena in South America, Latin American identity encompasses a variety of cultures, backgrounds, stories, traditions, and, of course, music. The diversity can be heard in every measure, as each artist brings not only their own personal style, but also their Latino ancestry to the lyrics, melodies and rhythms of music.

Immigration reform is a hot topic for legislators nationwide, and this week both President Obama and a bipartisan group of senators proposed changes to immigration policy. In a city located in the dead center of the country, it might seem illegal immigration is not the biggest issue facing Kansas City, but that is not the case.

The Distance Between Us

Oct 16, 2012

On Tuesday’s Central Standard author Reyna Grande describes her experience living as in illegal immigrant in the U.S.

Her memoir, The Distance Between Us, is an intimate, graphic narrative about her early years left behind by her parents in Mexico, tumultuous time as a youth in America and journey to becoming a U.S. citizen.

Marta Rincon

Kontrolando Show is one of 30 local bands, dance groups, and djs, in addition to some national acts, that will be playing at Fiesta KC in Crown Center June 22 - 24, 2012.

Star Watching: In The Heights

Jun 6, 2012
John Daughtry, 2011

For the second half of this Wednesday's Central Standard, a look at the touring Broadway musical making its last stop in Kansas City.

Traveler, educator and short story writer Xanath Caraza says she first started writing poetry when she was about six years old.

Kansas City, MO – Caraza writes in Spanish, her first language, and then translates her own work into English. Here, she reads a poem she wrote in Mexico to celebrate International Women's Day; it's called "Mujer."

This poem is published in the anthology called Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland.