Kansas City: Baseball for Education

According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data in 2011, Kansas City has one of the highest violent crime rates in the country, with a person having a one in 84 chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime. Experience Baseball held an event on June 25th at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City in order to raise awareness for the Kansas City, Kansas Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities program (KCKRBI), so that kids in underserved urban areas will have baseball as an outlet in their lives.

Kansas City is a baseball landmark at the crossroads of America. It was the original home of the Athletics and the historic Monarchs, and is now home to the Royals and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. With all of this baseball history KCK RBI wants to bring the game to all of Kansas City’s youths.

So far this year, there have been 76 homicides in the greater Kansas City area with 36 of the victims being between the ages of 0-30 with over 60% being black (HomicideKC). In May 2012, Dewanna O-Guinn spoke of her 20 year old son, Ashton, who was shot and killed in Kansas City, “He was the apple of my eye, my oldest of three,  college student, fun loving, big heart, give his last to whomever needed it,” she said. “… He was a full time college student, he carried 3.5 GPA.  He loved his family, never been in trouble prior to. You can’t just judge a book by its cover.” At the end of 2012, Kansas City closed the year with 157 homicides with 23 homicides per 100,000 residents, the second-highest murder per capita rate in the midwest behind East St. Louis and seventh overall in the country (Kansas City Star). Like Kansas City resident, Yael T. Abouhalkah, said in the Kansas City Star, “On a national scale, it’s embarrassing that Kansas City is lumped in with other cities that have gained notoriety for their high crime rates, such as Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Memphis, Atlanta, Cleveland and Buffalo.”

Part of the MLB’s initiative to reach out to urban areas, often with black and hispanic backgrounds, a long-running program in Kansas City, Success Achieved In Future Environments (S.A.F.E.), was granted a charter by MLB in 2009 to be the KCK RBI. It began with a few teams, but now KCK RBI fields eighty-three fully uniformed teams in Kansas City and over one hundred teams in Johnson County in order to bring the great game of baseball to inner-city youth (kckrbi.org).

Experience Baseball works with the Kansas City Kansas Reviving Baseball in Inner-Cities program to fulfill our mission of using baseball to improve the quality of life in urban cities home to professional baseball.

Baseball fans, youth development supporters, community organizations, and educational groups can support Experience Baseball and KCK RBI by donating to our cause.

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