A baseball player. Civil rights activists. A drillmaster. A bus operator. Social justice leaders. A doctor. A basketball player. An archivist. Those are just a few of the occupations held by the many people who have made a difference along Prospect Avenue through the years. Some worked to preserve African-American history and culture in Kansas City. Others developed programs and resources for struggling families and neighborhoods. A few even marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. All paved the way with significant contributions in the neighborhoods along Prospect.
In 2013, an advisory committee of more than 40 members was formed to offer guidance and feedback about Prospect MAX. The committee consists of community advocates, business owners and managers, and civic and non-profit leaders who work, conduct business or live along the corridor. From that group, a subcommittee of 10 members was formed in 2017 to collaborate on the Honor Plaque Program, which will honor community members who made significant contributions along Prospect. Members brainstormed to create a slate of 24 community members to be honored with station plaques.
“The subcommittee worked diligently to come up with a list of names representing a variety of occupations, backgrounds and contributions,” Prospect MAX Project Manager Linda Clark said.
Now, the public is being asked to narrow the list of names from 24 to ten, through an online at surveymonkey.com/r/honorplaques. Paper copies of the survey also will be available at upcoming Prospect MAX community events.
“The survey not only will determine the ten honorees, but also provides an opportunity for the public to share personal stories about the honorees,” Clark said. “We’d love to hear more about how these individuals positively impacted the community.”
The ten honorees chosen will be recognized with granite tile plaques, along with biographical information on an electronic kiosk, at select stations along Prospect. The plaques will be installed before Prospect MAX service begins in late 2019. Blank plaques will be installed at 28 other stations and will become projects of the community to name. Neighborhoods or organizations will submit an application to KCATA about their proposed honoree and will be responsible for collecting and writing biographical information for the kiosk and paying for plaque engravement.
“We’re really hoping a business group or neighborhood association embraces the Honor Plaque Program and wants to adopt the program to implement it throughout the corridor,” Clark said.
The survey is available through Nov. 9. The ten honorees and the corresponding station locations will be announced later this year.