LISC National
Our Events


10.11.2018 | 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

More than 300 people from across the metro came out to salute seven of the best and brightest leaders and organizations at the Second Annual Thrive community development celebration. Presented by KCP&L, guests were greeted with dance performances by Key Polynesia, and artists associated with Artists Helping the Homeless.

LISC President and CEO Maurice Jones traveled from New York to share his message of the need for an equitable system to create housing and economic development opportunities in our country.

Executive Director Stephen Samuels took the stage to share his annual message about partnerships and equity. “No one recognized tonight accomplishes their incredible work alone. . . . There are big partnerships, like the one we have with United Way. . . . There’s the staff and elected officials of our cities who do their best to leverage public funding to create investment opportunities with organizations like ours. And there are the dozens of neighborhoods, most led by passionate volunteer residents, who choose to participate in the process and vocalize their wishes so that LISC, our foundation partners, and many others know where and how to support them.”

What a way to celebrate achievements in community development! Special thanks to sponsors, entertainers, honorees, volunteers and all who joined forces to make Thrive an event to remember.

Thrive Honoree Broderick Crawford shares his work to renew the Jersey Creek Trails at his experience station.
Bill Dana, Central Bank of Kansas City, Maurice Jones, LISC President & CEO and Stephen Samuels
Stephen Samuels and Brian File, KCP&L
Thrive Honoree Diosselyn Tot used her experience station as a platform to invite attendees to color a mural and learn about voter issues.
Broderick Crawford, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Community Leadership Honoree
Desiree Monize, Executive Director of Avenue Of Life, accepted the Innovation Award for the Impact Wednesday program.
Rosedale Development Association Executive Director Erin Stryka accepted the Organization With Greatest Impact award.
Habitat For Humanity Executive Director Pat Turner and Board Chairman Reed Nixon accept the Building Block Award for their Rock The Block program.
Diosselyn Tot of El Centro accepts the Youth Leader Kansas City, Kansas award.
Kennedy Johnson, Youth Leader Kansas City, Missouri Honoree
Ajamu Webster, Founder of WeDevelopment Credit Union, accepted the Hallmark Community Leadership Kansas City, Missouri award.
The one and only Kansas City Marching Cobras closed out the event with hypnotic beats and high-energy moves.
Thrive, the poem

Jose Faus set the stage at Thrive with his poem, Thrive. The poet, writer, painter, playwright and founding member of the Latino Writers Collective, Faus is the 2011 winner of the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award. The multi-disciplinary artist and writer came to Kansas City from Bogota, Columbia, as a child. 

Read Thrive Here

Congratulations to all the Thrive honorees!  

Rock the Block

Habitat for Humanity’s Home Preservation Program improves conditions in existing neighborhoods to help increase pride of ownership for current residents.  More than 300 volunteer and staff members complete exterior repair projects for low-moderate income homeowners on a selected block.

Watch the Video Here
Rosedale Development Association

Informally organized as Rosedale Community Council in 1945 as a grassroots, community-centered organization addressing issues such as neighborhood blight, business development, crime, zoning and flood control, Rosedale Development Association remains committed to work with residents, businesses and institutions to develop a thriving Rosedale community.

Watch the Video Here
Broderick Crawford

A consummate community volunteer, dedicated to assisting and improving the lives of those who are less fortunate, Broderick has been a champion for organizing groups to restore the built environment in Northeast Kansas City, KS including the Jersey Creek Trail Renovation and Expansion Project.

Watch the Video Here
Diosselyn Tot

Sumner Academy and KU graduate, Wyandotte County resident Diosselyn uses her experience and passion in community building and engagement to lead projects that are green, art and entrepreneurship initiatives including an Integrated Voter Engagement program, Know your Rights workshops, Art Squad and she co-founded URBANWORKS.

Watch the Video Here
Impact Wednesday

Avenue of Life’s Impact Wednesday is a cross sector collaborative partnership that is action oriented and unique. It is the only Collective Impact approach to solving homelessness in Wyandotte County, combining extensive collaboration, wrap around services and comprehensive case managing in one centralized location.

Watch the Video Here
Ajamu Webster

Ajamu’s commitment for residents of Kansas City’s distressed communities is exemplified by his active participation in many professional organizations and board appointments. He’s most proud of the Radio-Thon with the Prospect Business Association and WeDevelopment Credit Union which is in the final stages of the Federal Chartering process.

Watch the Video Here
Kennedy Johnson

Youth literacy is Kennedy’s passion. Kennedy hosted book drives at the Linwood YMCA’s Fall Family Festival and Breakfast with Santa events distributing over 2000 children’s books that she personally collected. To accompany each book, she designed and crafted bookmarks featuring the importance of early childhood literacy.

Watch the Video Here