“Cut the Check”: In Groundbreaking Move, KC Mayor Quinton Lucas Appoints 13 Members to Historic Reparations Commission, Includes KC Defender Editor & KC Defender High School Staff Writer

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has appointed 13 members to a historic commission that will study the process of reparations for the centuries of exploitation and dehumanization inflicted on Kansas City’s Black community.
Photo by Fibonacci Blue via Flickr

KANSAS CITY, MO – In an unprecedented move by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, 13 Kansas Citians have been appointed to serve on a historic commission that will study the process of reparations for the centuries of violent exploitation and dehumanization inflicted on Kansas City’s Black community. 

The commission’s mission is to investigate and provide recommendations for reparations, examining all aspects of historical and ongoing anti-Black racism and its effects on the community.

The Kansas City council, recognizing the need for reparative justice, voted in January to form the commission. Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, a leader in this effort, highlighted the significance of this commission, stating that it will take time to determine how Kansas City has participated in the oppression of African Americans and what repair looks like. 

Kansas City Mayor’s Commission on Reparations:

  • Terri Barnes, Chair, nonprofit leader and president of the Nia Project
  • Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics at UMKC
  • Cornell Ellis, educator and founder of Brothers Liberating Our Communities (BLOC)
  • Dionne King, consultant at DMK Consults
  • Madison Lyman, student at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy
  • Ryan Sorrell, journalist and founder of the KC Defender
  • Kenneth Ford, author, Descendent Freedman Alliance (DFA)
  • Fritz Riesmeyer, partner at Seigfreid Bingham
  • Bridgette Jones, physician and professor of pediatrics at UMKC School of Medicine
  • Kelli Hearn, housing leader, program officer at LISC Greater Kansas City
  • Will Bowles, advocate with Kansas City Black United Front
  • Danise Hartsfield, executive director of Communities Creating Opportunities
  • Ajia Morris, urban developer and cofounder of Greenline Initiative
  • Ex-Officio Mickey Dean, Kansas City Reparations Coalition
  • Ex-Officio Ester Holzendorf, Kansas City Reparations Coalition

This project is one that few cities across the country are pursuing, and it represents the first step in actually securing reparations for Slavery, Sharecropping, Jim Crow, redlining, and the ongoing legacy of mass incarceration and anti-Black systemic racism.

This historic move by the city is a much-needed step towards acknowledging the harm that has been inflicted upon the Black community and working towards a future of justice and equality.

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