Pictured above: Nika Renee Cotton, Village Scribe LLC owner; Eva Kathleen Schulte, Travois vice president for economic opportunity; Phil Glynn, Travois president; Elizabeth Bland Glynn, Travois chief executive officer; and Dr. Vernon Percy Howard Jr., The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City president.
(Editor’s note: Dr. Vernon Percy Howard Jr. is president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City, the civil rights organization that carries forward the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. Howard is senior pastor for St. Mark Union Church (UCC), an author of two books, and an activist, organizer, and spokesperson who works to protect and gain civil rights, peace and justice for the marginalized and the voiceless in society.)
The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City (SCLC-GKC), a civil and human rights organization utilizing non-violent, direct-action efforts for social change, takes pride in acknowledging partners who dedicate their energies toward the causes of justice and equity.
In 2017, Phil Glynn and Travois were shining examples of a partnership that helped us as we forged to build partnerships that laid foundation and put structure in place that will yield social and economic benefits for many in the city and metro in the years to come.
Phil provided integral support to undergird the success of our SCLC/KCFOR$15 Campaign that aligned a cross-section of Kansas City grassroots organizations and partners in route to successful ballot victory of the SCLC Living Wage Ordinance on August 8.
Phil’s advocacy and voter mobilization efforts in his ward and surrounding wards in Jackson County helped to influence favorable vote in key areas west of Troost and south of the Country Club Plaza, ensuring common purpose and goodwill across geographical, social-economic, political party, and racial lines.
He brought his entrepreneurial gifts and resources to the movement ensuring delivery of key marketing materials and strategic positioning of communication and messaging to unify a victorious voting block of persons dedicated to ONE CITY and a Living Wage.
Now certainly it is not uncommon for business leaders like Phil to utilize their influence to advance an agenda in the public square. He wasn’t the first to do that and assuredly won’t be the last. Yet we here at SCLC are especially excited about the core values, methods, motives, and “end game” Phil and Travois employ.
The core values they brought to the table in our successful ballot and human development partnerships were the dignity of all persons and economic justice and fairness. This is expressed in both their resourcing of the Living Wage Campaign and their business practice of themselves paying no less than Living Wages for their employees, which is good for industry, consumers, workers, and the wealth of communities in which we live.
But SCLC-GKC also finds Phil’s tactics and character of impress. Though blessed with wealth and privilege, he and Travois partner with communities to spur development among those on the margins. Though white, people in communities of color are parts of their central focus. Though young and progressive, Phil’s niche is an ability to intersect partners from across social, economic, and political spectrums to fulfill objectives via building bridges and alliances. Objectives. Oh yes, that “end game” thing.
Without consulting their business plan, I can speak from experience and state it imaginatively, I think. If someone asked what does Phil and the team over at Travois do anyway? I would put it this way – “They help create the best and highest quality of human communities, for all of the people, with all their might, so that all individuals flourish and live out their inherent potential and worth!”
That’s why I was honored to ask our organization to join me in awarding the 2018 SCLC-GKC President’s Award to Phil Glynn and Travois.