One Struggle KC

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One Struggle KC is based in Kansas City Missouri. It is a coalition of community activists seeking to harness the energy of Ferguson, MO to connect the struggles of many communities, locally & globally.

Co-founders

Diane Burkholder is the Lead Evaluator at the Kansas City CARE Clinic. She serves on the agency’s Cultural Diversity and Equity Committee and is Vice Chairperson of Kansas City’s HIV Planning Council’s Assessment and Comprehensive Plan Committee. She believes in the importance of positively impacting her community through activism and is an advocate on issues concerning youth and young adults, women, and the Queer community. She’s previously worked as an HIV/AIDS and STI advocate as well as an education and employment counselor for teens and young adults. Diane currently co-moderates the Kansas City Freethinkers of Color – a group dedicated to creating safe spaces and community for non-religious people of color – and the Kansas City Mixed Roots for mixed-race individuals and families. In October 2014, she co-founded One Struggle KC, in response to the events taking place in Ferguson, MO and the 43 missing students of Ayotzinapa, Gurrero, Mexico.[1]

One Struggle KC has tirelessly coordinated Kansas City’s responses to Ferguson while leading many demonstrations, even at the city’s largest tourist attractions. The group has also held day long arts workshops for the sake of community healing. Two of the founders, Diane Burkholder and Kristin Chow, tell their story.

Chow: “Five of us just got together. We knew each other from different groups around the city, and we came up with some visions of what we’ve always wanted to see here. At the core of it was bridging the gaps between Black and Brown communities.”

Burkholder: “We wanted to make sure that women, the undocumented and youth, whoever was involved, had equal footing and equal say.

“The first event drew about forty people, with signs in solidarity with Ferguson and signs in solidarity with Ayotzinapa [Guerrero, Mexico, where 43 activist students recently disappeared].”

Chow: “By our second week, we did a banner drop at the Power & Light District during the sixth game of the World Series. We’ve grown fast and created a Spanish speaking wing called Una Lucha. We’re taking some direction from the larger Ferguson action movement, but we try to localize the issues. We’ve had people arrested and experienced police violence.[2]

Ferguson rally

December 2014, One Struggle KC held a rally in Parade Park (corner of Truman Road and the Paseo) starting at 3:30 p.m. There were a handful of speakers, followed by some "direct actions."

Organizer Brittany Coleman told The Pitch that #kcparadeaction (as the event is being hashtagged) will "localize the issues of police brutality, inherent bias and racial profiling in Kansas City. This is our opportunity to stand firm, in solidarity with our sister city, Ferguson. We will show that Missouri is in fact a Show-Me State, and Kansas City is ready to Show up for Justice."[3]

4 mile march

Demonstrators, including Cat Mahari, participate in a symbolic 4 Mile March on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, starting at Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church and walking to the Kansas City Police Department Central Patrol Division before returning to the church on Linwood Boulevard in Kansas City. Around 150-200 people participated in the event, organized by community activist group One Struggle KC as part of a weekend of events celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr.

Demonstrators, including Ryan Tenney and Minh Dupha, carry a coffin made by Tenney while participating in a symbolic 4 Mile March on Monday, Jan. 19

Tiffany Wheeler carried an umbrella with a message, Florence Hamilton also participated.[4]

Michael L. Johnson forum

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015 One Struggle KC organized a forum;

October 10, 2015 marks the two-year anniversary of Michael L. Johnson’s arrest. Since that time, 23-year old Michael has faced stigmatizing media coverage, a grueling trial, and was sentenced to a horrific 30 1/2 years in prison under HIV criminalization laws in Missouri.
The prosecution and incarceration of Michael Johnson highlighted many of the ways in which policing, racist criminal justice practices and homophobia intersect – and led to a beautiful statement of love and support from 116 Black gay men, as well as several strategic discussions about advancing solidarity frames between the HIV decriminalization movement and ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ at the historic first-ever Movement for Black Lives (‪#‎M4BL‬) National Convening that occurred in Cleveland, Ohio on July 22-24.

Panelists included:

Moderated by Maxx Boykin, Community Organizer, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, BYP100 and HIV. [5]·

Activists

People's Tribune photo February 2015

"KC Empower Missouri Friday Forum: Members of One Struggle KC"

Event in Kansas City, 817 Westport Rd, Kansas City, February 5, 2016. Organized by C. Elliott Wattree.

“Not your Daddy’s Civil Rights Movement!”:

An Overview of the New Civil Rights Era In KC. Members of One Struggle KC will discuss:

  • What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?
  • The Ryan Stokes Campaign
  • How to engage in BLM works and Importance of Non-Bias policing

Those indicating attendance on Wherevent included Brittany Coleman, Anna Ruth, Shamika Williams, Kianda Simmons, Ashley Peaches, Diane Burkholder, Sherri Hewitt, Ranadous Jones, Austin Daniel, C. Elliott Wattree.[6]

References