Kelly establishes commission to work on racial equity and justice

Gov. Laura Kelly on Wednesday established a commission that will make recommendations aimed at increasing racial equity and justice.

“As Governor, I am committed to ensuring this latest tragedy does not fade into the next news cycle. Communities of color do not have the luxury of time for leaders to address these issues,” Kelly said.

Kelly issued an executive order setting up the Governor’s Commission on Racial Equality and Justice. She said the commission will first focus on law enforcement and community relations. The commission will hold listening sessions throughout Kansas and bring recommendations to Kelly, the Legislature and local governments.

Two school leaders who also are part of the Kansas Equity Series will be part of the commission.

Topeka USD 501 Superintendent Dr. Tiffany Anderson will serve as co-chair and Lawrence USD 497 Superintendent Dr. Anthony Lewis will serve as a member. The Kansas Equity Series is sponsored by Topeka USD 501, USA-Kansas and KASB and is focused on fostering dialogue and actions to ensure equity in Kansas public schools.

The other co-chair of the commission is Dr. Shannon Portillo, associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus and School of Professional Studies.

The remaining commission members are:

Secretary DeAngela Burns-Wallace, Topeka – Kansas Department of Administration
Dr. Brandon Davis, Lawrence, Assistant Professor – University of Kansas
Ernestor De La Rosa, Dodge City, Assistant City Manager – City of Dodge City
Mark Dupree, Wyandotte, District Attorney – Wyandotte County
David Jordan, Hutchinson, President & CEO – United Methodist Health Ministry Fund
Mark McCormick, Johnson County, Director of Strategic Communications – Kansas ACLU
John Nave, Topeka, Executive Vice President – Kansas AFL-CIO
Gordon Ramsay, Wichita, Chief of Police – Wichita Police Department
Catalina Velarde, Overland Park, Attorney and Adjunct Professor – UMKC School of Law, Johnson County
Jackson Winsett, Kansas City, Assistant Vice President – Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
A representative of the Native American tribes of Kansas, to be selected by tribal leadership

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