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Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2007

Commission plans policy development to help minorities

July 12, 2007

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Kevin Willmott, Kansas University associate professor of theatre and film, center, and Associate Vice Provost Maurice Bryan, right, look through items displayed from the African-American Collection on Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission at the Spencer Research Library.

Kevin Willmott, Kansas University associate professor of theatre and film, center, and Associate Vice Provost Maurice Bryan, right, look through items displayed from the African-American Collection on Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission at the Spencer Research Library.

Kansas African American Affairs Commission

Executive Director Danielle Dempsey-Swopes talks about the commission's meeting at Kansas University on Wednesda Enlarge video

African-American commission touts success

Leaders in the state's African-American community gather in Lawrence today touting their recent success in working with legislators. Enlarge video

Members of the Kansas African American Affairs Commission are looking to advocate for economic development, health care and education policies that will benefit minorities.

"We've really engaged in the last few years to make state government more culturally competent because people who are going to be affected by policy are now at the table helping create that policy," said Danielle Dempsey-Swopes, the commission's executive director.

The commission, made of seven governor-appointed members, has taken a more active role in developing policies the last few years, after initially helping organize cultural and community programming.

Commissioners, including Kansas University associate film professor Kevin Willmott and Deborah Dandridge, a field archivist at the Spencer Research Library, met Wednesday at the Spencer to review their strategy.

Dempsey-Swopes said discussions have focused on issues that affect minorities, including expanding successful economic development projects, such as in northwestern Wyandotte County.

"One of those concerns is how do you get that same kind of vigor and development in ... the rest of Wyandotte County where there's a significant African-American population," she said.

Commissioners also participated in a reception Wednesday that included KU Libraries Dean Lorraine Haricombe; Maurice Bryan, KU's new associate vice provost for diversity and equity; and Don Steeples, vice provost for scholarly support.

Commissioners touted past success, such as working with state legislators to pass a 2005 law prohibiting racial profiling, which includes requiring all law enforcement agencies to have a policy against it and to engage in annual diversity training.

"I would say I've seen more positives," said Curtis Whitten, the commission's chairman and a Wichita businessman. "Although we've made some strides in certain areas, there's still a lot of work to be done."

Commissioners on Wednesday also viewed the African-American Experience collection at the library.

Comments

Centrist 7 years, 5 months ago

It's amazing to me that "minority" always seems to equal "African American". No other races or creeds.

No offense to anyone, but why are Native Americans always excluded from this type of discourse?

Native Americans are always 100% ignored.

Why?

Bubbles 7 years, 5 months ago

Since we are all "created" equally, oops, I mean since we all "evolved" equally, when is the minority going to help the majority? At least, when is the minority go to pull their own weight?

costello 7 years, 5 months ago

"It's amazing to me that 'minority' always seems to equal 'African American'."

This is an article about the Kansas African-American Affairs Commission. The KAAAC "address[es] concerns that are unique to the African-American Community in the state of Kansas." The LJW chose the word "minority."

From their website:

"The Kansas African-American Affairs Commission (KAAAC) is a seven member body with members appointed by the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House and the House Minority Leader.

"The KAAAC members devise strategies to address the public policy concerns of African-American through its partnerships with the state agencies, corporations and foundations. The Commission will serve as a conduct for programs,grants,research and policy advice for state and local organizations in addressing concerns thar are unique to the African-American Community in the state of Kansas."

http://kaaac.org/aboutus.php

costello 7 years, 5 months ago

"when is the minority going to help the majority?"

I don't know. Maybe the majority is doing ok without the minority's help?

"At least, when is the minority go to pull their own weight?"

This comment comes off as pretty racist.

hammysammy 7 years, 5 months ago

Bubbles sounds like a great person. Smart too. Just kidding.

costello 7 years, 5 months ago

"Somehow 'equality' for this particular 'minority' is always about getting 'half':. If you only account for 12% of the population, 'equality' means about 12% of the contracts, etc:."

I don't see anything in this article about "this particular 'minority'" (I assume you mean African Americans, although I don't know why you've put the word 'minority' in quotation marks) demanding half of anything.

"They always cry about 'not having enough black coaches in the nfl/nba':"

Who is crying about this? Nothing is the article indicates the KAAAC is very interested in this particular topic.

Steve Jacob 7 years, 5 months ago

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discrimination on the basis of race" And that's from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

ozone 7 years, 4 months ago

Funny how closet racist come out anytime Black folks speak up/out against good 'ol boys system in America. The term 'minority' is a ruse. Blacks, Hispanics, people from India, and whites have little in common. Maybe we were born in America, but much of it ends there. The rights others who came after the Mayflower and Amistad enjoy were fought off the backs of Black folks. Native Americans and immigrants don't shop with Black businesses, advocate when apparent racism or discrimination arise, volunteer in our agencies, do not contribute to Black organizations keeping our youth from jack'in. Black America receives little; if any contributions from all the millions raked in on reservation casinos, gas stations owned by foreigners, or mexican eateries and establishments. Hispanic unemployment is declining whereas Black unemployment continues to increase in major Kansas cities. No other ethnicity except a few 'white folks' say a thing about this disparity. Black construction contractors receive $70,000 out of $54M in public funded construction projects in KCK. On military bases in Kansas, it's white folks getting all the contracts only to subcontracting to their friends and family. So, if whites want to pay the social cost of disparity, they deserve to also pay trillions for a war in Iraq and have their taxes skyrocket.

Black folks have issues unique to themselves like white folks, hispanics, women, youth, and that must be kept in perspective. I have little to offer to folks that get all the jobs, contracts,,, except advice. Leave us alone since you don't support us. Keep buying with your own and stop complaining when we choose to do the same. Have your white and non-black friends, legislators stop taking our tax dollars and giving them to their friends/family who looks like them. Yeah, 12% of all contracting on Ft. Riley and Ft. Leavenworth should go to Black contractors so we can create job when whites/hispanic and other will not. The deterrent to Black empowerment are those who sit on the sidelines and accept injustice on a fellow American. When Juan walks off a job site because his employer never hires a Black man I'll change my attitude. When Native American re-distribute some of that money Black folks put in their slot; back to Black organizations, I will accept we have a common goal. They are ignored to the tune of millions of Black dollars; without having to give anything back. Give me a break! The face of construction, landscaping, housekeeping workers is not Black; or white for that matter. They work and send their money back to their people and homeland. Thanks to American slavery, that chance was killed off long ago. Who works in Asian establishments? Mexican restaurants and establishments? The majority of white companies? It's a no-brainer. Little has changed since Jim Crow. Jim Crow, Jr., just simply took over

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