The head of a city task force says her group has finished organizing and is ready to begin its study of racism and discrimination in Lawrence.
Ann Weick, dean of Kansas University's School of Social Welfare, chairs the city's Task Force on Racism, Discrimination and Human Diversity. She said that after two organizational meetings, the 16-member task force is ready to start on the meat of its work.
"We want to hear from groups of people who have experienced racism, discrimination and prejudice in Lawrence," Weick said. "Then we want to begin studying how best to remedy those situations and go to the city commission with our recommendations."
During its course of study, Weick said the task force will look at programs from other cities that promote tolerance and understanding among people from various cultural, social, racial and religious cultures, such as Kansas City's "Harmony in a World of Differences" program.
"We're interested in seeing what other communities are doing," she said, "and seeing how we may be able to adapt those programs to Lawrence."
The task force was set up by the Lawrence City Commission in July at the request of an ad hoc work group that included faculty and administrators from KU and Haskell Indian Junior College and representatives from the city's Human Relations Commission.
That group began meeting in the spring, shortly after the Haskell Student Senate held a community forum to discuss the deaths of four American Indians.
The next meeting of the task force is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 12 at city hall.