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September 2013
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Blanco y Negro
Central Bank Attends Gala
by Sarah Cousineau

On September 13th, employees from Central Bank of Kansas City attended the Blanco y Negro Awards Gala with their guests at the Westin Crown Center.  The Gala serves as the formal kickoff to Hispanic Heritage Month, by bringing together community and civic leaders to honor and thank those individuals who have contributed to improving the quality of life for Kansas City Latinos.  The gala started in 1986, and has been a worthwhile and exciting event to attend.  Pictured here is Eva from our main branch with her guest.

The Guadelupe Center’s (GCI) mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals in the Latino communities of greater Kansas City. They accomplish their mission by: Providing early childhood, secondary, preparatory and adult educational programs; facilitating access to health and social services for all ages; promoting and providing Latino cultural enrichment events; sponsoring social activities that engage the diverse communities.  

History of GCI

During the early 1900's in exodus of the hardships caused by the Mexican Revolution, many Mexican nationals began to leave their homeland in pursuit of a better life for both themselves and their families. These Mexican immigrants followed jobs to the north in areas of migrant farming, railroad and livestock. While many stopped in the already predominant Mexican-American Southwest, others went further north and decided to settle in the Westside Community of Kansas City, Missouri.

Upon their arrival, the Mexican immigrants faced yet another hardship. Discrimination. Mexican children were not allowed into certain schools, while their parents were not allowed to shop in many places. The Mexicans were also exploited in the workplace and basic services offered by area hospitals and government agencies were not granted to the Mexicans. Not knowing where to turn or how to respond, the need for basic services within the Mexican community continued to grow.

To answer this growing need, a Catholic women's club in 1919 decided to establish a volunteer school and clinic for the underprivileged Mexican immigrants who had settled in the Westside. Naming the entity after the patron saint of Mexico, the Guadalupe Center became one of the nation's first social service agencies for Latinos and has grown to be the heart of the Latino community within Kansas City

This year’s awards banquet, honoring those who improve life for Kansas City Latinos, was hosted by actor Tony Plana of ABC’s “Ugly Betty” and was a benefit for the Guadalupe Centers.  Approximately 600 people attended the event, and they raised about $30,000.  For more information about the Guadelupe Centers, Inc., please visit their website.  The information in this article was provided by the GCI website.

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