Kansas City`s Road to Equality
CLASSES HELD AT:
Central United Methodist Church
5144 Oak, Kansas City, Missouri
A program of
Fridays March 28—June 6, 2014
Spring 2014 Edition
Offers learning and unlimited
fun with classes, speakers and
new friends. Come for one
class or enjoy several! Only $15
for an entire 10-week
curriculum. More Details:
Visit us at www.sccentral.org
Welcome to the 2014 Spring Term!
Adventures in Learning is warming Spring up with a new class schedule! Of course
our popular favorites will return: Line Dancing, News and Views, Spanish, Travelogue, Sit & Be Fit, and Needlecraft. Our Potpourri Class has it all, from discussion
groups to life histories. Noon Forum features local celebrities like meteorologist
Gary Lezak, broadcaster John Tibbets, and moviemaker Harold Finch, as well as
musicians, authors and world travelers.
Our signature series...
No classes on April 18,
Kansas City’s Road to Equality
Fifty years ago this July, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into
law. It was a nod to JFK’s urging of the previous year. In June 1963, our then
President Kennedy asked for action guaranteeing equal treatment of every
American regardless of race. He proposed Congress consider civil rights legislation
A representative from Visiting
Nurse Association will be check- to address voting rights, public accommodations, school desegregation, nondiscriming fasting blood sugar and blood ination in federally-assisted programs, and more. Kennedy was dead by November.
pressure on the first Friday of the
Eight months after JFK’s death, President Johnson signed the most sweeping civil
Spring Session—March 28th from rights legislation since pre-1877 Reconstruction. Johnson’s legendary finesse had
overcome a southern Democrat filibuster and convinced Republicans to support the
bill. It outlawed segregation in businesses and banned discriminatory employment
practices. It ended segregation in public places including swimming pools, libraries,
to the John Locke Society. This
and public schools. That meant Swope Park and Southwest High School.
distinguished group of retired
Other timely issues began pushing in: U. S. advisors in Vietnam, the Beatles on Ed
area physicians has graciously
Sullivan, Barry Goldwater. Our world would change with or without us.
provided speakers for several of
This Spring Series features ordinary people who did amazing things here to promote
our Health Enrichment classes.
equality. Whether it was residents creating a neighborhood coalition to oppose
We are indebted to them for
red-lining, or a school drop-out studying federal law at our downtown library to
sharing their time and expertise.
fight for fair convictions. Others stepped out to integrate our city council and police
department. Come listen to people who tried to make things better those first
years. Not everything worked, but it was the beginning.
Adventures in Learning meets 40
Let’s take a look. It was our time.
Fridays per year, thanks to our
dedicated volunteers who plan the
programs and run the operations on
GARDENING...and So Much More
Friday mornings. If you’d like to be
You may be a veteran gardener, or just someone who enjoys the view
part of a fun, talented and committed
from your patio on a summer evening. This session’s Gardening series
volunteer group, call
covers everything from Herbs/essential oils, Preparing your garden for
Shepherd’s Center Central,
spring, Pest control, and Bonsai plants—to name just a few! Stop in—
816-444-1121 or look us up:
you’re sure to find a topic that will get you in the mood for Spring.
Getting To Know You
Rod Sampson, Always Exceeding Expectations
Longtime Adventures’ host, Rod Sampson loves to be up front and busy. He didn’t begin
Born in 1927, Rodney Jay Sampson grew up in Racine, WI: A tiny, sickly only child, with
a hovering mother. But in 4th grade, the girls began calling him “skyscraper.” His growth
period didn’t end until he was 6’2”. Not puny anymore, he thought he’d be a professional athlete. Not the
only time, he would overcome low expectations.
In 1944, he joined the Army’s Combat Engineers at 17 years. He could type so they made him a corporal.
Done two years later, he moved to KC where his parents had transferred. He studied at Pathfinder Radio
Announcing School, then earned an English BA at KCU. While attending radio school, he joined a light
opera company singing baritone. At this point, he’d learned engineering, radio announcing, English, sports
and singing. So, of course, he began a life-long career in insurance. They told him he lacked people skills
and would never be a manager. So…Rod became a supervisor. For one company he taught the business in
a four-state territory. Always in sports, he played baseball, basketball, and bowled.
He married Dorothy, a KCU grad, in 1950. It’s been 64 years now. They raised four sons and Rod became
a Cub Scout leader. The boys: Rod II - in computer science, Joel - a St. Louis architectural draftsman,
Frank - a successful businessman in Taiwan and John - an Army Ranger. John was tragically killed in 1991.
Rod and Dorothy have five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Rod joined Adventures after his 1991 retirement. The couple took many cruises to the Caribbean (Dorothy’s
mom was Jamaican), but keep close to home these days. He’s chief cook and bottle washer and Dorothy
depends on him. He slowed down; lost some weight. But every Friday, he’s at Adventures. He plans
“Potpourri” classes and is a Leadership Team member. He never quits; he keeps on going on.
“ ADVENTURES” FRIDAY MORNING SCHEDULE
Mary Lou Snyder
News & Views
Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.
You’re always welcome in the
Hospitality Room beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Stop by for coffee, treats & conversation!
Visiting Nurse Association’s
Terri Finnigan, R.N. will join us
on these dates for health checks:
11:00 Road to Equality”
Sit & Be Fit
March 28—Fasting blood sugar
and blood pressure
April 25—Blood pressure only
AD V E N T U R E S I N L E AR N I N G
Noon Forum starts Fridays at
noon and adjourns at 1:15 pm.
Pay in advance for lunch or
you may bring your own sack
March 28 Zoe Melcher
May 9 Phil Dixon
For more than 30 years, author Phil S. Dixon
Conservatory of Music and Dance, where she
has recorded African-American topics, and is
earned a bachelor’s degree of Music in Perforregarded as an expert on baseball and boxing
mance. Melcher has performed in many UMKC
history. He has authored nine books and won
opera productions. Playing her guitar and acthe Casey Award for the Best Baseball Book
companied by a pianist, she’ll perform a variety of songs
of 1992. He’ll talk about Jack Johnson, the first African
ranging from pop, ballads, 50’s & 60’s music to jazz.
American heavyweight-boxing champion.
April 4 Harold Finch
A brief look at Finch’s multi-faceted career: An
educator, he helped found Johnson County
Community College. A scientist, he was a
NASA project director for the Apollo missions.
An entrepreneur, his business firm has trained
one million professionals. The movie “Unlimited,” loosely
based on his life, was released in 2013.
May 16 Jim Chappell
Chappell’s Restaurant & Sports Museum
opened in North Kansas City in 1986. The restaurant started out as a small political/sports
bar and grill. Chappell’s hobby for collecting
became a passion, and the restaurant filled
with sports memorabilia. In 2014 Sports Illustrated ranked
Chappell’s 10th of the country’s top 25 sports restaurants.
April 11 Gary Lezak
Gary Lezak, chief meteorologist for KSHB 41
Action News, will discuss his experiences as a
meteorologist. Lezak was raised in Southern
California where he was fascinated by clouds and rain, but
always wondered why the weather seemed to be more
exciting elsewhere. He received a B.S. in Meteorology and
became Chief Meteorologist at KSHB in 1999.
May 23 Greg Cotton
Greg Cotton is a life-long soccer fan and strong
supporter of Sporting Kansas City (formerly the
Kansas City Wizards) since its inception in 1995.
Cotton helped found the Heart of America Soccer Foundation to keep soccer in Kansas City. Now Executive Vice President and General Council for Sporting KC,
he’ll tell about this increasingly high profile professional
soccer team, winner of 2013 Major League Soccer Cup.
April 25 John Tibbets
John Tibbetts, an associate professor in the
Department of Film & Media Studies at the
University of Kansas, will discuss celebrity
interviews with Hollywood stars. Author,
educator, broadcaster, artist and accomplished pianist, he
holds a Ph.D. from KU in Multi-Disciplinary Studies. Currently he is working on a book about Australian cinema.
May 30 Cory Sorio
“Adventures” member Cory has a BSN degree
from Manila, Philippines, an MSN degree from
UMKC, and a Transcultural Nursing certificate
from University of Northern Colorado. She led
service trips to Guatemala as part of her elective course
offering in Culture and Health Care. She’ll share stories
and pictures from medical missions to the Philippines.
June 6 Chuck Haddix
May 2 Therese Park
Chuck Haddix is director of the Marr Sound ArBorn and raised in South Korea, Therese Park
chives, a collection of 340,000 historic recordcame to America in 1966 to be a cellist with
ings housed in the Miller Nichols Library at the
the Kansas City Philharmonic (now the symUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City. Haddix has
phony. After 30 years she retired and began
contributed to a variety of theatrical, recording,
writing. She has published three novels and since 2009 has
projects. He’ll talk about his book, The Life
been writing “Commentary” in the Star-Johnson County
and Music of Charlie Parker, which was published in 2013
Neighborhood News. Park has published more than 120
by the University of Illinois Press.
articles and essays locally, nationally and internationally.
Our program is made
possible by the work of our
many dedicated volunteers.
2014 Leadership Committee
Marjorie Roberts, Chair
Everyone is Welcome!
Adventures in Learning is a program of Shepherd’s Center Central.
Classes are held at Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak.
Enjoy just one class or stay from 8:30a.m. to 1:15 p.m. each Friday. Our
10-week curriculums are planned year-round for mid-life and older adults.
Regular registration for an entire 10 week session is only $15. For
those who can afford an additional donation, Sponsor level is $30 and
Patron is $45. Scholarships are available.
You are welcome to come to any or all classes and stay for the Noon
Forum each Friday. Bring a sack lunch to Noon Forum or RESERVE
LUNCH ($5.00) by noon Wednesday prior to the program. (816-4441121.) Low-cost transportation may be available for those nearby.
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Kansas City’s Road to Equality
Each 50-minute class is at 11 a.m.at Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak Street, KCMO
March 28 Brown vs. Board of Education
May 9 Joie Tenenbaum
In 1951, Esther Brown, a white Jewish woman,
was incensed by Merriam, KS’s dilapidated
school for black children. Students were required to use an outhouse. She sued
Topeka’s Board of Education. The United States
Supreme Court agreed. Dan Weddle, UMKC Law
professor, brings his expertise to this pivotal legal case.
In 2012, a local rabbi and a black minister led a
bus trip to Atlanta, Selma and Birmingham. This
10-day event was called “Blacks and Jews Travel
the Road Together: a Civil Rights Journey.” AL’s
Joie Tenenbaum and 23 others took that bus. Joie, our
“Curtain Up!” class’s longtime leader, recounts the trip.
April 4 Alvin Brooks
May 16 Joe Louis Mattox
Raised during segregation, Brooks chose
building bridges not bitterness. When
Kresge’s was the only downtown place
African Americans were allowed to eat (one
hot dog in the alley), Brooks entered our
segregated police department. Later, a city councilman and
he also co-founded the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime.
In the 1950s and 60s, KC’s Black Americans
were restricted to Swope Park’s Shelter House
#5 called “Watermelon Hill.” Mattox, local
historian and independent scholar at the Bruce
R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and State Museum, also
speaks on President Truman’s civil rights support.
April 11 Alvin Sykes
May 23 Blue Hills Homes
Eighth-grade dropout Sykes studied federal law
at our public library. In 1980, after no one was
convicted of a KC musician’s murder, Sykes
found a key phrase in 1968’s Civil Rights Act
and won a retrial. His focus on other unsolved murders resulted in the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.
Father Norman Rotert, St. Louis Parish’s pastor,
founded Blue Hills Homes in 1974 with Pete Cole
as Executive Director. They set out to battle social and economic challenges faced by residents
of KC’s Blue Hills Neighborhood through affordable housing.
Jo Ann Bussinger is the current Executive Director.
April 25 Joanne Collins
May 30 Kansas City to Selma
KU alumna Collins served on the City Council of
Kansas City 17 years representing the Third District
at Large. Elected in 1974, she was KC’s first AfricanAmerican Councilwoman. This dynamic woman’s
time and energies go to Children’s Mercy Hospital, American Red Cross and the Central Exchange.
In March 1965, our TVs showed deadly violence
in Selma Ala., as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a
peaceful protest for equal voting rights. Nationwide, many saw violent racism for the first time.
Sister Rosemary Flanigan, CSJ joined a Kansas City delegation who went down to support the marchers.
May 2 49-63 Neighborhood Coalition
June 6 Group Remembrances
49-63 Neighborhood Coalition began in late
1970 after neighbors began meeting to discuss
fighting red-lining and block-busting. Longtime
residents wanted to stay, but also to involve new neighbors
as the area grew multi-racial. Ed Hood, one of its founders,
is Professor Emeritus of UMKC’s Law School.
This last session, we’ll reflect on our own
memories of those times. Most of us didn’t
protest or march or begin groups. Some of
us were raised in homes where racial slurs
were routine. Have we changed since 1964? Faye Champion
will recite the poignant poem of a mother’s words to
her child before the 1963 Birmingham church bomb-
Adventures in Learning is a program of
Shepherd’s Center Central, made possible by many
All classes are held at Central United Methodist Church, 5144 Oak, Kansas City, Missouri.
One payment of $15 covers enrollment for all 10 sessions.
Stay for a single class, or attend classes of your choice from 9 a.m. to 12 noon,
then attend Noon Forum. Call Shepherd’s Center Central
For more information (816) 444-1121 or visit www.sccentral.org
10: 00 AM
11: 00 AM
50 Forward Club
Preparing Your Garden
Research Study-Memory Loss
Dr. Duane A. Lundervold
Feed the Hungry—
Working with Special
Herbs & Essential Oils for
Rockhurst Physical Therapy
Travels with Charlie,
AARP Homefit Program
From Classroom to Ski
Pest Management for the
If Pills Could Talk
Bill-Paying Service for
National Federation for the
Medical Issues via the
Internet: The Good, Bad, and
Review & Discussion
If Pills Could Talk
Dr. Karl Becker, M.D.
Common Lab Tests Ordered
by Your Doctor
Dr. Alan Forker, M.D.
WEEKLY CLASSES include:
Line Dancing, Basic Spanish, Bridge, News & Views current event discussions,
Sit & Be Fit exercises, Needlecraft, and great “Noon Forum” speakers.