As the only Kansas City arts organization with a 33-year history with a commitment to diversity and inclusion, we get excited at opportunities to invite others to embrace a culture of diversity.

On July 31, 2017, Misty Copeland came to Kansas City to meet with our donors and promote her most recent hardcover. It was the perfect time to create a new “holiday” and launch the Kansas City proclamation “United We Dance” in honor of Misty’s trailblazing work with the American Ballet Theatre and our local efforts to use the power of dance to unite. Mayor Sly James read the Proclamation to a packed house, bringing the audience to a standing ovation.

We are happy to share the Proclamation here for you to read in its entirety:



WHEREAS, the mission of Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey is to make dance accessible to all people by presenting the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II, to teach young people critical life skills through dance, and to model interracial and multicultural community partners; and

WHEREAS, diversity, inclusion, and unity through collaboration with all members of society are essential for the well-being of this and future generations; and

WHEREAS, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, the City of Kansas City, and the Mayor recognize the extraordinary contribution that Misty Copeland has made to the world of professional dance by being the first African American Female Principal Dancer with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre; and

WHEREAS, Misty Copeland valiantly represents to the world the values of Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and the City of Kansas City that music and dancing is an integral part of all humanity and provide a platform that transcends the boundaries which cause social division; and

WHEREAS, Misty Copeland was born in Kansas City, Missouri; and

WHEREAS, on July 31, 2017, Misty Copeland returned to Kansas City to share her journey with us and to advance unity, motivation, and encouragement.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Sly James, Mayor of the city of Kansas City, Missouri, do hereby proclaim Monday, July 31, 2017 as a special day to show the power of dance to unite and proclaim it as ‘United We Dance Day’ in the City of Kansas City, Missouri and urge all citizens and visitors to our area to celebrate the power of dance to unite and bring community together.


Sylvester “Sly” James Jr., Mayor
City of Kansas City, Missouri