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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Issue

The September 30th issue of The Independent, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, highlights Hispanic leaders in Kansas City, non-profit organizations that serve the Hispanic community, locally-owned businesses, and so much more.
Click the image below to read the digital version of the magazine. 

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with the Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund

The Greater Kansas City Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) was founded in 1983 by Tony Salazar. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of Latino families in Greater Kansas City by engaging the Latino community in philanthropy to build stronger communities through grantmaking and scholarship support. HDF acts in four ways: 1) increasing philanthropy […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – Kansas City

Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – Kansas City was founded in 2014. It is the local chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), which was founded in 1974 in Los Angeles, California. The organization’s goals include increasing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) awareness in the Hispanic community. This includes making families cognizant […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Armourdale Renewal Association

The Armourdale Renewal Association was founded in 1990 by Patty Dysart to “ensure that businesses and residents have the necessary resources to aid community development.” The actual Armourdale neighborhood has roots dating back to approximately 1882. The ARA works with the Unified Government to build a safe and healthy environment for the people who live […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with the League of United Latin American Citizens

Rudy Padilla and Robert Flores founded the League of United Latin American Citizens, Shawnee Mission, Kansas Council, in 2021. The organization’s overarching mission is to “advance the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, housing, health, and civil rights of the Hispanic population of the United States.” The local council strives to fundraise for scholarships through the […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Vibrant Health

“Our goal is making high-quality, culturally competent care accessible in every corner of our community. Vibrant Health elevates equitable and general access to care plus coordination of services,” said Patrick Sallee, president and chief executive officer. Vibrant Health, which was founded in 1990, provides a host of services. These include medical, dental, and behavioral health. […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month Cristo Rey Kansas City

Cristo Rey Kansas City was founded in 2006 by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. The organization pairs a Catholic prep school education with a work/study program for high school students whose families would not be able to afford private schools offering similar opportunities. Eighty-seven percent of the families whose children attend Cristo Rey are […]

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Culinary Quick Picks: Apps And Sips

It’s all about the happy hour and beverages and bites! Whether it is a date night, a girls’ night out, or a spur of the moment gathering of friends, the appetizers and libations rule the evening. We found some of our local favorites with which to celebrate this Hispanic Heritage Month, and we were not […]

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Cheers to Volunteers! – Lead to Read KC

At Westside CAN’s Back to School Pep Rally on July 28th, Lead To Read KC volunteers distributed free books to children and families and recruited reading mentors for the upcoming fall semester. Lead to Read KC’s mission is to support the social, emotional, and reading skills that are foundational for student success by advancing their […]

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Rachel’s Reads – September 2023

One of my favorite things about reading is the ability to experience different cultures and different lives. I know I’ve mentioned this George RR Martin quote before, but for me it really is true that “a reader lives a thousand lives.” It’s so fascinating to see the world through another lens, especially when that lens […]

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Culture, Art, and Community: Mattie Rhodes Center’s 25th Annual Day of the Dead Celebration

In a tribute to culture, connection, and creativity, the Mattie Rhodes Center is gearing up to host its 25th annual Day of the Dead event. This eagerly anticipated celebration welcomes all to participate in a celebration of life on the first Friday in both October and November.  On October 6th, the Mattie Rhodes’ Day of […]

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A Thriving Westside: Westside CAN’s Role in Kansas City’s Evolution

Kansas City has a storied history, acting as a Gateway to the West in the mid-1800s and witnessing the pivotal Civil War Battle of Westport in 1864. In the late 19th century, the Westside also saw an influx of Mexican immigrants. This wave of immigration had a profound influence on the neighborhood’s identity. Today, the […]

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TRAILBLAZERS: A scrapbook of Kansas City performing artists whose impact is being felt throughout the region and beyond

Vanessa Severo  The actor, writer, choreographer, and director is the daughter of Brazilian immigrants. She has appeared on all the major stages in Kansas City and on quite a few others around the country. In 2019, she presented the world premiere of her one-woman show, Frida: A Self Portrait at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and […]

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VOCES DIVERSAS: Arts groups lay groundwork for stronger Hispanic voices 

Latin Americans have played a major role in the growth of greater Kansas City for at least two centuries, probably beginning with the founding of Independence, Missouri, in 1821. Yet even as the Hispanic population today has grown to some 10 percent of the region’s 2.1 million inhabitants, Kansas City’s Latinos still find themselves struggling […]

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TRAILBLAZING: Local ensemble explores how Latino music was formed from a confluence of voices

Nearly all of Beau Bledsoe’s musical adventures have grown out of a lifelong love of the classical guitar, also known as the “Spanish” guitar. So it made sense that Ensemble Ibérica, the group that the Arkansas native established in 2013, should be dedicated to performing “music from Spain and Portugal and other areas of the […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month with Habitaciones Para Latinos Association (HPLA Charities)

The mission of Habitaciones Para Latinos Association (or HPLA, as it is commonly known) is to provide home repair services to low income homeowners at no cost. The more elaborate explanation involves volunteers helping owners avoid costly code violations on their homes that they normally could not afford. Things such as broken windows, wood rot, […]

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Latinx Education Collaborative: The love story of Edgar Palacios

Color, language, heritage, place, and time – they all mean something in the life of a child. They mean even more to a child with a Hispanic/Latinx background and language who happens to be in a school system in the middle of the United States. If the child is the center of the wheel, then […]

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2023 Class Of Rising Stars – Anna Bazan-Munguia

In Kansas City’s philanthropic circles, one vibrant and beloved personality stands out as a Rising Star – Anna Bazan-Munguia. As the youngest of 27 grandchildren, Anna’s journey to local prominence is intertwined with her family’s rich history and a deep sense of community spirit.  Anna’s grandfather, a skilled tailor who once worked for President Harry […]

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Latinx Leadership in Action: Irene Caudillo’s Role in Shaping a Brighter Future

In Wyandotte County, a fresh era of development within the Latinx community is on the horizon. Dedicated community leader, Irene Caudillo, has recently assumed the role of Chief of Staff to Mayor Tyrone A. Garner within the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. With a decades-long track record of affecting change among the Latinx population, Irene’s […]

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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage with Guadalupe Centers

Guadalupe Centers occupies a unique place in the Kansas City landscape. They are the only dual language early childhood education center in the area, the only Charter School serving the Latino community, and the only bilingual Financial Opportunity Center in the metro. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for individuals in the […]

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