Joplin community members are creating civic dialogue around coffee

Ask community leaders in Joplin and they'll tell you: A conversation can go a long way.


The topics of racism and police brutality can be make for difficult conversations to have with one another. That’s why several civic leaders in Joplin are taking steps to make them easier and more accessible for the community to discuss. 

This morning at Bearded Lady Coffee Roasters, Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland and community member Sergio Rizo held an open forum as an opportunity to talk about these issues with city residents in a comfortable setting. As Adam Francis, the coffee shop’s owner, provided free drinks to all in attendance, the group slowly grew to almost 30 over the course of a two hour period.

Scroll down to watch more of this morning’s conversations

We spoke with Rowland, Rizo, Francis, and Victor Sly, a longtime police officer and Joplin’s NAACP chapter president.