Rockhurst University Breaks Ground on New Center for Faith-Justice, Paying Tribute to Kansas City Activist

On December 2, the Kansas City community came together to celebrate the groundbreaking for the new Alvin Brooks Center for Faith-Justice at Rockhurst University. The University envisions the building as a hub for a number of University-related faith-justice efforts and offices for the KC Common Good anti-violence organization. The center will also house a campus chapel, flexible enough for small gatherings or a campus-wide mass.

Alvin Brooks has served the Kansas City community for nearly 70 years. In 1954, Brooks became one of the city’s first Black police officers, followed by being chosen to lead a new city department on human relations. At 45, Brooks founded the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime that continues to work to reduce crime in Kansas City.

“Though he was never a student, faculty or staff member here, Mr. Brooks is a consummate example of servant leadership in the Jesuit tradition… As a space where the campus community will both celebrate faith and pursue justice, it is only appropriate that it bear the name Alvin Brooks.” — Rockhurst University President Sandra Cassady, Ph.D.

The new Center for Faith-Justice is an opportunity to merge the various surrounding communities, with these facilities being the common ground. Located on what is currently a surface parking lot and the existing Rockhurst Community Center, the new building will offer a variety of spaces for people to come together. The design for the addition is a sculptural form that acknowledges Troost, which reflects the greater community and reaches back into campus.
As with other projects on campus, the vision of the Alvin Brooks Center for Faith-Justice aligns with Rockhurst University’s mission and Jesuit values: “To create a more just world and, therein, a more just Kansas City through collaborative advancement of a right relationship with God, with others, and with the earth.” It’s a fitting tribute to Brooks, a living legend in the landscape of social justice, public service and civil rights in Kansas City.