Local historians Rochelle Donald and Chester Owens, Jr., on Kansas HBCU Western University, Established 1865 as Quindaro Freedman’s School Copy

Local historians Rochelle Donald and Chester Owens, Jr., on Kansas HBC Western University, Established 1865 as Quindaro Freedman’s School.

Chester Owens, Jr., community leader, statesman, civil activist, business professional, historian and humanitarian, is a Sumner High School alumnus and has been actively collecting articles and artifacts pertaining to Sumner High since graduating. His donations helped establish the Sumner High School Alumni Room, which was later named in his honor.  Chester was the first African American in the twentieth century voted to the Kansas City, KS City Council in 1983 and served as the Chairman of the Labor and Industry Committee of the NAACP. He has received numerous awards throughout his lifetime for his civil rights and community service work including the NAACP Civil Rights Award, the Friends of Yates Black Man of Distinction Award, the Kansas City, Kansas Leadership Award, the Dr. E. A. Freeman Living Legends Award and the United Way Volunteer of the Year among others. Chester Owens, Jr.’s biography is included The History Makers archives, The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection, https://www.thehistorymakers.org/biography/chester-c-owens-jr.

Rochelle Donald, is a local filmmaker born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. She has served in ministry for many years in various capacities, focused on helping families, youth, and senior citizens through working in churches, shelters, and other nonprofit agencies in California and Kansas City. Donald has also been a mentor and program developer for community and school-based projects for youth from elementary to high school. She has co-produced with her husband two documentaries, “Strugglers Hill: A People, A Community” and “Quindaro.” In 2016, she became a first-time children’s book author of “A Boy’s Rhythm,” written in collaboration with her two sons. Donald enjoys researching historical information and studying social trends to guide planning community-based endeavors to improve people’s quality of life conditions.

Host and producer:  Donna Morrow Wolfe

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