Letter from the Editor

In this month's edition of Labor Link, we are focusing on the many ways in which the Department protects and promotes human rights. Department members often participate in programs designed to raise awareness of efforts to protect human rights. While December is Universal Human Rights month, the Department strives to protect human rights all year long.

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MCHR Helps Raise Money for James T. Scott Benefit Program

Columbia Mayor, Bob McDavid and Dr. Alisa Warren

Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) Executive Director, Dr. Alisa Warren, recently represented the Department at a fundraiser for the James T. Scott Benefit Program.

James Scott, a black janitor at the University of Missouri, was lynched by a Columbia mob in 1923, after being accused of raping the white daughter of a professor. His burial site is marked by a nondescript grave marker in what used to be the segregated section of Columbia Cemetery.

Several hundred people gathered at Second Missionary Baptist Church, where James Scott worshipped 87 years ago, for a memorial service organized to raise money for a proper headstone for Scott’s grave.

The successful event raised more than $4,000 dollars. A headstone will be purchased and placed on Scott’s grave in April, to commemorate the anniversary of his death.

According to Dr. Warren, “This powerful event was a significant step for Columbia to improve race relations in our community. It was encouraging to share this experience with so many people of diverse backgrounds uniting towards a mutual goal. Mayor McDavid’s remarks emphasized the importance of healing the wounds of our past and embracing progress for all people in Columbia. I am proud to have been a part of such a positive endeavor.”

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Becoming a Certified MBE/WBE Business

Alan Green and Amy Susan, Director of Communications

Keeping a business running, especially through tough economic times, requires ingenuity and finding a niche. Some businesses may be unaware of a program they can participate in – the Minority/Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program.

The goal of the M/WBE program is “to assist women and minorities in developing opportunities to contract with the state, economically empowering traditionally underserved communities and improving the overall fiscal vitality of the State of Missouri.” Certified M/WBE businesses will benefit from an increased exposure to contracting opportunities with state agencies, large contractors, and other sub-contractors seeking qualified minority and/or female participation in state and private contracting. This program is administered by the Office of Supplier and Workforce Diversity (OSWD), within the State Office of Administration.

Eligible businesses must be owned by a minority and/or a woman (at least 51%), and the minority and/or female owner must hold the highest position in the company and be capable of exercising direct control.

In its latest efforts to promote the M/WBE program to Missouri businesses, the Department featured Alan Green from the Office of Administration in a Labor Talk podcast, to discuss the application process and how it benefits local communities and grows disadvantaged communities. This podcast can be viewed on the Labor YouTube channel.

For more information about becoming a certified M/WBE, visit the Office of Administration’s Office of Equal Opportunity Links of Interest page.

For any other businesses interested in registering as a vendor with the state of Missouri, visit the On-Line Bidding/Vending Registration System.

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Kansas City Urban League Celebrates 90th Anniversary

DWC Dispute Management

The Urban League of Greater Kansas City was created as a social agency to deal with the countless challenges faced by black immigrant workers and black soldiers returning from the war. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the organization.  Dr. Alisa Warren, Executive Director of the Missouri Commission on Human Rights (MCHR) was on hand to help celebrate the League’s efforts and achievements.

The League started an empowerment movement that worked to create an environment of equality and opportunity for people of color. The League’s founders believed that employment, vocational skills training, and education would empower blacks and help build bridges of respect across the color line, proving that black and whites could work in harmony in the workplace. 

MCHR’s mission is to prevent and eliminate discrimination as well as to provide fair and timely resolutions of discrimination claims by enforcing the Missouri Human Rights Act. At the luncheon two activists were honored for their outstanding work in the Kansas City community. Ollie Gates, owner of Gates & Sons Barbecue was recognized for his outstanding achievements in fostering the economic development of the area. Greg Graves, president & CEO of Burns & McDonnell, was also honored for setting the bar in corporate social responsibility.

“MCHR and the Urban League share a long history of promoting equal opportunity, inclusion, and social equity,” said Dr. Warren. “We are proud to share a strong tradition of increasing awareness of human rights and inclusion in Missouri, and wish the Urban League of Greater Kansas City many more years of continued success!”

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