At a local barbershop, Akil Hutchins talked about an upcoming networking event he’s planning with Black Excellence KC and Young Latino Professionals KC that will bring together Kansas City’s Black and Latino communities.

The guys in the shop started talking about relationships between the communities and how many Latino friends they each have and many of the guys said they don’t have any Latino friends.

Hutchins says he doesn’t know where the disconnect between the Black and Latino communities came from, but he hopes the event, Para La Cultura / For the Culture Networking Event will bring both communities together on Sept. 17 from 7 p.m. to midnight at the Teocali, 2512 Holmes St, KCMO. Entry is $10.

A portion of the proceeds generated will benefit the recruitment and healing services for the clients of the nonprofit Children of Homicide Victims. Both Black Excellence KC and Young Latino Professionals believe through their services, the nonprofit can help reduce generational trauma stemming from violence.

“We don’t necessarily have a lot of Hispanic friends within our community. To be honest, it just seems like there is a divide and uncomfortableness,” Hutchins said. “It’s important that the Black and Brown community come together because we’re both people of color. We both endure a lot of some of the same barriers and issues, whether it be systematically or statewide. There are a lot of things that we go through that they go through, and vice versa.”

Justin Reyes, president of the Young Latin Professionals, an organization that helps members develop leadership skills and career growth and success, said he sees many leaders in both communities raising awareness of issues in their respective communities.

“But we’re all siloed, not by intent but by essence, because we’re at a point now where we have to speak loudly and use the platforms available,” Reyes said. He said he hopes events like this one will encourage all types of communities to work together.

Hutchins hopes that those who attend will meet someone outside their community and start to become comfortable with each other and their cultures.

“I hope that people emulate what we do with For the Culture within their communities, and hopefully in a roundabout way, we’re all able to interact and be collaborative and move forward in a positive manner that way we can develop opportunities and create generational wealth,” Reyes said.

For the Culture tickets are on sale here:

To learn more about Black Excellence KC, visit their website:

To learn more about Young Latino Professionals, visit their website:

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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