Kansas City is stronger and more vibrant than ever. Yet, while we’ve accomplished so much, we’re still recognized as one of the most segregated cities in the country. Kansas City has yet to come to terms with its past and the structural biases that continue to hold our community back. We as a community must address the history and systems that have resulted in perpetual inequities between races and cultures in our community.

The Mayor’s Office, City Manager’s Office and the the Community Alliance for Race and Equity (CARE) are working together to create a safe and supportive space for us all to begin learning about systemic and institutional barriers that prevent our residents and our city from reaching our full potential.

Race is a sensitive topic. It’s an integral piece of our identity, and that’s why talking about inequities tied to race requires thoughtful planning. That’s why we’ve worked with leaders in this field to implement the Government Alliance on Race and Equity’s theory for advancing change in racial equity:

  1. NORMALIZE: Establish racial equity as a key value by developing a shared understanding of key concepts across the entire jurisdiction and create a sense of urgency to make changes.
  2. ORGANIZE: Build staff and organizational capacity, skills, and competencies
    through training while also building infrastructure to support the work, like internal
    organizational change teams and external partnerships with other institutions
    and community.
  3. OPERATIONALIZE: Put theory into action by implementing new tools for decision-making, measurement, and accountability like a Racial Equity Tool and developing a Racial Equity Action Plan.


In the year Mayor James has left in office, his goal is to begin the process of normalizing conversations about race and inequity by hosting a series of public conversations and trainings throughout the year. Our goal is to help community members come together to develop a common language to talk about race, to begin understanding how our collective past has shaped the systems that perpetuate racial inequity, and to begin to heal.


Starting the Conversation


6-8 p.m.






Socialization & Bias


5:30-8 p.m.






Systems, Institutions & Communities


6:30-8 p.m.





Organizing 101: Building Skills for Action


7-8:30 p.m.





Race and equity experts in Kansas City have come together to form the Community Alliance for Racial Equity (CARE). With 20+ community partners, including my office, CARE is taking an active role in organizing by providing community education and trainings and resources for individuals and organizations to begin addressing the biases that exist in their own spaces. And at the city level, we’re forming the Race and Equity Action Team (REAT) with members from departments across the city to identify ways that we can modify city processes and practices to be more equitable.

Community Alliance for Racial Equity

The Community Alliance for Racial Equity (CARE) is a new organization working to build a community of stakeholders, activists, organizers, trainers, and educators around a common vision of racial equity in Kansas City. They’re focused on increasing local capacity to meet our community’s racial equity-focused needs relative to training, coaching, strategic development, and grassroots organizing. Sign up for their newsletter and follow them on Facebook.





The Race and Equity Action Team (REAT) will be tasked with formulating and implementing a Race and Equity Action Plan for the city government, as an organization. The plan, as well as a public-facing, online dashboard that will track the city’s progress, will enable the city to begin the process of operationalizing, by serving as long-term tools for decision-making and accountability.