Kansas governor establishes Commission on Racial Equity and Justice

Published: Jun. 24, 2020 at 12:47 PM CDT
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Kansas Governor Laura Kelly signed an executive order today establishing the Governor’s Commission on Racial Equity and Justice.

The commission will study issues of racial equity and justice in the state, with a focus on law enforcement-community relations, according to a release.

“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,” Governor Laura Kelly said.

The commission is made up of people from advocacy groups and members of law enforcement, including Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsey.

The commission is co-chaired by Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools USD 501, and Shannon Portillo, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs KU Edwards Campus & School of Professional Studies.

Other members of the commission include:

• 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

• Dr. Anthony Lewis, Lawrence, Superintendent – USD 497 Lawrence

• Mark McCormick, Johnson County, Director of Strategic Communications – Kansas ACLU

• John Nave, Topeka, Executive Vice President – Kansas AFL-CIO

• Chief 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

The commission will hold listening sessions and meet virtually depending on public health guidelines. The commission will then make recommendations to the governor by Dec. 1, 2020.