Civil Rights

OPINION

Audio Astra: Black farmers, pools for the people, safe spaces

BY: - July 2, 2021

Audio Astra reviews recent audio reporting on Kansas news, including podcasts and radio stories. Eric Thomas directs the Kansas Scholastic Press Association and teaches visual journalism and photojournalism at the University of Kansas. Through coverage of reparations, sexual identity and even public pools, three public radio segments this week document how Black folks are advocating for change […]

Supreme Court upholds Arizona ‘ballot harvesting’ ban, in setback for voting rights law

BY: - July 1, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Arizona’s ban on third-party ballot collections, reversing the 9th Circuit’s ruling last year that the prohibition violated the Voting Rights Act and raising the bar on future voting rights lawsuits. In a 6-3 opinion, the high court ruled Arizona’s 2016 law doesn’t violate Section 2 of the Voting […]

A Republican-led Senate committee voted Wednesday for confirmation of Cynthia Lane, a former superintendent of Kansas City, Kan., public schools, to the Kansas Board of Regents. (Screen capture/Kansas Reflector)

Senate panel votes to support confirmation of three nominees to Board of Regents

BY: - June 30, 2021

Kansas Senate committee endorses three nominees for Kansas Board of Regents amid questions about teaching critical race theory.

Black kids overrepresented among children ordered into Kansas foster care

BY: - June 30, 2021

Blacks are disproportionate number of Kansas children in foster care; Blacks and Native Americans less likely than whites to reunify with parents.

Republicans push back against federal approval for changes in state voting laws

BY: - June 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Republicans during a U.S. House Judiciary panel hearing on Tuesday argued that a bill that would reinstate a preclearance section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act is unnecessary because there is no discrimination in voting.  The top Republican on the panel, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) said the legislation is not needed and that […]

Morgan Davis, who left the Kansas National Guard as a Chief Warrant Officer 3 in 2020, says her persistence in reporting alleged misconduct in the Kansas Guard brought her military career to a premature end and contributed to development of her post-traumatic stress disorder. (Thad Allton for Kansas Reflector)

Kansas Guard veteran worn down from years battling leadership over misconduct, retaliation

BY: - June 29, 2021

TOPEKA — Insomnia compelled Morgan Davis to seek refuge on a small backyard patio offering sanctuary from the downward spiral of her career in the Kansas Army National Guard. On that November evening, the outdoor cocoon proved insufficient. Davis drove to a convenience store in Topeka where the mission was to slip in and out […]

U.S. Supreme Court affirms transgender rights in declining to hear school bathroom case

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court said Monday that it will not hear a case of a transgender student in Virginia who was barred from using the boys’ bathroom, a decision that affirms lower-court rulings that said treating transgender students differently violates federal law. Justices on the top court offered no comment in declining to take […]

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides, conservative groups

BY: - June 26, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers — a development that House Agriculture Committee Chairman David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say […]

Derek Chauvin sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for murder of George Floyd

BY: - June 25, 2021

Convicted in the murder of George Floyd, ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22½ years in prison Friday, becoming the first white Minnesota police officer to serve prison time for a murder committed while on the job.  The sentencing marks a significant milestone in the effort to get justice for Floyd, who died […]

U.S. Department of Justice takes Georgia to court over its elections law

BY: and - June 25, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that the Department of Justice is suing the state of Georgia to overturn a sweeping elections law passed in March, with a legal challenge that alleges the new statute violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The federal lawsuit is the latest in a series of challenges […]

Colyer joins Schmidt in pledging opposition to critical race theory in Kansas schools

BY: - June 24, 2021

TOPEKA — Former Gov. Jeff Colyer signed a pledge Thursday to oppose the teaching of critical race theory in Kansas schools, matching the move made by his GOP rival earlier this week. Attorney General Derek Schmidt signed the pledge on Monday. Both are seeking their party’s nomination for governor in next year’s race against incumbent […]

Racial equity panel examines schools’ use of American Indian mascots

BY: - June 20, 2021

TOPEKA — A Kansas racial equity panel could issue recommendations for public schools and colleges to eliminate the use of American Indian mascots, nicknames or imagery. Dozens of elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges, across the state are still recognized by American Indian mascots and logos, despite long standing criticism. Examples include […]