Photos (one with Vern) and story of the 2019 Nov 26 event, click here.

From the Kansas City Business Journal, 2019 November 27:

Alvin Brooks, who has worked tirelessly for equality and against crime for decades, was honored as the 2019 Kansas Citian of the Year.

The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce named Brooks as the recipient of the award Tuesday, highlighting the chamber’s annual dinner. Chamber officials expected a crowd of as many as 1,800 for the event.

Brooks, 87, was one of the first African Americans to serve in the Kansas City Police Department, starting as an officer and eventually serving on the Kansas City Police Board. He founded the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime, a nonprofit that works to make Kansas City neighborhoods safer by acting as a bridge between the community and the police.

Brooks long has been a leading local civil rights leader. He directed the Kansas City Human Relations Department soon after race riots in 1968. He also has served as Kansas City’s first black assistant city manager, a City Council member (1999-2003) and unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2007. He now serves on the board of the Hickman Mills School District.

Former Mayor Kay Barnes, the 2018 Kansas Citian of the Year, presented the award to Brooks. He was mayor pro tem when Barnes was in office.

The selection of a peacemaker as Kansas Citian of the Year was a fitting close to a chamber dinner celebrating a truce in the development Border War between Missouri and Kansas. The governors of the two states were scheduled to appear at the dinner.

The annual dinner also serves as the official passing of the position of chamber chair. Carolyn Watley, vice president of community engagement for CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, officially takes over as chairwoman on Nov. 1, succeeding JE Dunn Construction Co. CEO Gordon Lansford.

Sit down with Alvin Brooks, Kansas Citian of the Year! - Hour 3 11/27/2019

For the past year, Vern has been working with Alvin L. Brooks to edit Al's Memoir. Currently [2017] it runs some 205,000 words. Al was recently interviewed on KCUR for an hour portrait on air. Jen Chen summarized the appearance here. [Two years later, the manuscript is 242,000 words in length.]

Beyond Belief Web Extra | Kansas City Icon Alvin Brooks

Brooks was named the 2017 
"Outstanding Native Kansas Citian of the Year" by 
The Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City.
inspiring leader
The Honorable Alvin Lee Brooks

Vern Barnet
RELEASE FROM COPYRIGHT expressly for Wikipedia and all other uses

I hereby affirm that I, Vern Barnet, am the creator and sole owner of the exclusive copyright of the image shown above and have legal authority in my capacity to release the copyright of this work.

I agree to publish the above-mentioned content under the free license: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported and GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts). 

I acknowledge that by doing so I grant anyone the right to use the work in a commercial product or otherwise, and to modify it according to their needs, provided that they abide by the terms of the license and any other applicable laws.

I am aware that this agreement is not limited to Wikipedia or related sites.

I am aware that I always retain copyright of my work, and retain the right to be attributed in accordance with the license chosen. Modifications others make to the work will not be claimed to have been made by me.

I acknowledge that I cannot withdraw this agreement, and that the content may or may not be kept permanently on a Wikimedia project.

Vern Barnet, Photographer
Appointed representative of the subject of the photo, the Honorable Alvin L Brooks, for this purpose
2018 August 9
Kansas City, MO

This photograph was taken at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library


1932 May 3 Alvin Lee Brooks born, North Little Rock, AR
1935 May 24 Carol Rich born
1950 Mar 20 Mother Estella Brooks dies
1950 Graduates from R.T.Coles Vocational High School
1950 Aug 23 Marries Carol Rich
1954 June Joins KC Police Department
1961 June 8 Father Cluster Brooks dies
1964 October Leaves KC Police Department

1968 May 27 Appointed first Director of Human Relations Department, KC, 
          first Black KC Department head
1973 Masters in Sociology, UMKC
1975 Brooks travels to Israel with Jewish-Christian-Muslim seminar
        The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle, July 4, 1975, page 13.

1977 AdHoc Group Against Crime formed
1984 Appointed Assistant City Manager, first Black in that role
        The Kansas City Star Magazine, August 19, 1984, page 8-28
1989 Appointed to President’s National Drug Advisory Council for three years 1990 Named one of America’s “1000 Points of Light” by President G. H. W. Bush

1999 Elected 6th District City Council Member, made Mayor Pro Tem
2003 Re-elected and re-appointed

2005 Missouri House honored Brooks in Resolution No. 3561 2007 Won primary, narrowly defeated in general for KC Mayor
        The Kansas City Star, March 28, 2007

2008 Re-energized AdHoc
2009 Named University of Missouri-Kansas City Alumnus of the Year

2010 Appointed by Governor to Board of Police Commissioners
2013 July 12 Carol Rich Brooks dies 2016 The City Council of the City of Kansas City, MO, declares May 3, 2016, as Alvin L.
Brooks Day in its Resolution No. 160372 2016 Brooks honored with the Harry S. Truman Public Service Award The Kansas City Star, April 5, 2016
2018 Resigns from Police Board and joins Hickman Mills School Board
See also Community Guardian Awards, AdHoc Group Against Crime, 2016, 
      pages 19-36 for a comprehensive biographical sketch.

Brooks appears in Tanner Colby's 2012 (Penguin) book
Some of My Best Friends Are Black: The Strange Story of Integration in America.