Purity (Peekay) Kinyua is the community outreach ambassador at the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District in the Northeast.
Originally from Kenya, Kinyua moved to the United States in 2001 and has been part of the Historic Northeast community since 2012.
She currently lives in Pendleton Heights and said she loves the community.
“What I love about the Northeast is the diverse community,” she said. “I also like the Northeast area because I can get all my African food and healthy food.”
She began working with the CID in September 2018 as an Avenue Angel and eventually was offered the community outreach ambassador role earlier this year.
Kinyua’s role at the CID is to build lasting and trusting relationships with the East African community, which makes up a large portion of the Northeast.
“My main goal is to help the refugee community,” she said. “Most of them, they don’t know about finding and getting resources. When I get to walk on the Avenue visiting businesses, I get to meet customers, talk to them, and then I can help them find resources.”
Kinyua said this role allows her to make a big difference in so many lives.
“The reason I like this job is because it’s made it easier for the CID as a whole and the Northeast because I’m bilingual and African and most of the business owners around here are from East Africa, so we have a good relationship,” she said. “It’s easier for them to communicate with me, feel comfortable, and give me information that is needed and required. It’s a cultural thing; we understand each other. I think I’m making a difference here.”
Kinyua said she is currently working on developing relationships with the Congolese youth in the Northeast and helping build trust between them and law enforcement.
“They are scared of the police because of the police brutality they went through in Africa as refugees, but I want them to know that the police here are not like what they are used to,” she said. “I want to give them courage.”
In a recent meeting between the Congolese community and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department, one young man expressed his desire to become a member of law enforcement after speaking with East Patrol Officer Patrick Byrd.
To connect with Kinyua and learn more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.