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Seg. 1: LGBTQ in Shawnee| Seg. 2: Inclusive Playgrounds

Segment 1: Derrick Rieke is an unlikely but powerful LGBTQ rights advocate in his community.

When Derrick Rieke spoke out, at a Shawnee City Council meeting, he told his personal story wrestling with being gay from fourth grade well into adulthood. He was addressing a room full of people he knew, many of whom were there to oppose the ordinance he was fighting for.

  • Derrick Rieke, vice president, Max Rieke and Brothers Inc.

Segment 2: New all-inclusive playgrounds are a step toward making public spaces accessible.

When Nancy Truitt visits playgrounds with her son, who has Cerebal Palsy and muscular dystrophy, the slides and swings don't typically accommodate their physical needs. A new generation of playgrounds in Kansas City has allowed Maddox to play with other kids, and to finally access all the fun and social opportunity of the park. But there's work to be done beyond the playground.

  • Deb Wiebrecht, executive director, Variety KC
  • Nancy Truitt, parent
People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.