Source: The Kansas City Star
On January 8, 2001, The Kansas City Star reported that "continuing social and political reform remains necessary if America's most disadvantaged residents are to gain the equality for which civil rights pioneers fought, a national civil rights scholar and activist said Sunday evening in Kansas City." Lawrence Rubin, recent executive chairman of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, spoke at an interfaith community worship service, part of the 2001 Greater Kansas City Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Rubin stated that there is a growing rift between majority and minority communities in the United States, and called on all people to "stand against despair and disillusionment just as others before us stood against racism."
The Kansas City chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference helped organize the interfaith gathering, at which they honored two local citizens for their work in support of minority communities: Laura Hockaday, former society editor of The Kansas City Star, "for her efforts to include all of Kansas City's many communities in her coverage of events;" and John Douglass, Overland Park's police chief, "for his longtime efforts to curb racial profiling and other discriminatory law enforcement practices in Overland Park and other suburbs."