100 Years, 100 Stories
Alvin Brooks is seen all over the community as a staunch advocate of Civil Rights and anti-violence. The former police officer spends much of his time trying to solve issues related to urban crime.
Over time, Brooks became a man who got justice for crime victims.
In 1977 Brooks founded the Ad Hoc Group Against Crime , when a group of concerned citizens came together to address the unsolved murders of 9 African American women. Alvin Brooks was one of the founding members and led the organization in combating crime and violence in the Kansas City Metropolitan. The organization provides counseling, a 24 hour youth hotline service and helps honor victims of crime.
Alvin Brooks has been actively involved with Metropolitan Community College since the early 1950’s. He was an alumnus of the last segregated class before Lincoln Jr. College became part of the Junior College of Kansas City (MCC).
He says since he was a teenager he started thinking about inter-racial and inter-faith dialogue. He developed the ability to build bridges despite the fact he was raised during a time of segregation.
“The only place you could eat downtown was Kreskey’s on the alley at 12th and Main,” Brooks remembers. “All you could get was a hot dog.”
“In the stores, if you tried on a hat, you bought it,” Brooks said. “If a woman tried on a dress, you bought it.”
Brooks said he never became bitter, he became a police officer and worked to connect the African American community and the segregated police department.
“Now it is a different city, a different American and lived through that,” Brooks said.
After earning his associate degree, Alvin transferred to Kansas City University (UMKC) to earn his bachelor degree while, at the same time, attending the KC Police Academy. In the ensuing years, Alvin taught criminal justice classes at MCC, delivered multiple commencement speeches to graduating MCC classes, and in recent years helped develop the Brooks Institute at MCC-Penn Valley, which focuses on crime prevention and contemporary issues associated with violence.
Listen to this audio recording of Alvin Brooks explaining his long association with Metropolitan Community College. You have to click the hidden arrow on the far left. If you hoover over it, the play button will appear.