Cultural Crossroads was founded and incorporated by the Rev. Mary Gibson McCoy in 2001 and received 501c3 designation in 2002. The mission of the organization is “to promote multicultural understanding through education, with a focus on the commonalities among peoples.” While the organization was initially founded with the goal of creating a cultural heritage center, they discovered programming was more of an immediate necessity to the community. The organization is operated by a three-person Permanent Executive Committee (PEC), which also functions as the Board of Directors. In addition to the Rev. Mary Gibson McCoy, other members of the PEC have included Donna Dolinar Stalker, Valencia J. Broadus, Judith Wright Twitchell, Barbara McAtee and the Rev. Gregory L. McCoy. The current PEC (2019) consists of the Rev. Mary Gibson McCoy, the Rev. Gregory L. McCoy, and Barbara McAtee. Occasionally, Cultural Crossroads has also utilized an Advisory Committee of 5-7 community members and ad hoc focus groups.[1]

Cultural Crossroads’ most visible, and significant, interfaith contribution is the development of “the Human Spirit” collection, which is permanently housed at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. The collection was unveiled in 2013, expanding to include a children’s section in 2016. The collection was developed upon suggestions from faith leaders and teachers in the community, featuring books on various religions, philosophies and cultural issues. Cultural Crossroads has also sponsored, or co-sponsored, various interfaith events, including “Food for Thought,” the Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner, “Many Songs, One Voice,” and “Everyday’s a Holiday.” These events have succeeded in bringing groups of diverse faiths together over food, dialogue, song, and union of common cultural practices. As founder Rev. McCoy states, “Cultural Crossroads has always acted under the belief that the understanding of culture and faith cannot be separated.”[2]

[1] McCoy, Mary, interview by Geneva Blackmer. 2019. Cultural Crossroads (February 20).

[2] Ibid.