Civil Rights

Former Topeka resident Kevin Young, a poet and author, will become director of the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. (Melanie Dunea/Smithsonian Institution)

Former Topekan to lead Smithsonian’s museum of African American history, culture

BY: - September 30, 2020

The new director of Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is poet and author Kevin Young, a former Topeka resident.

Biden says he’ll support election outcome, but Trump urges supporters to ‘watch very carefully’

BY: - September 30, 2020

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Tuesday night to accept the outcome of the election, while President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch very carefully” what happens as voters cast their general-election ballots.  Those comments were in response to a question at the first presidential debate from moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, […]

Clockwise from top left, Sean Gatewood, Tim Carpenter, Barbara Hickert and Rocky Nichols during a recording of the Kansas Reflector podcast on public reporting on COVID-19 clusters by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas long-term care advocates view public COVID-19 report as ‘life-or-death’ guide

BY: - September 28, 2020

Kansas advocates for the elderly and disabled in long-term care facilities praise KDHE reporting on clusters, but would welcome more data.

Kansas public defender not convinced of need for blanket suspension of speedy-trial law

BY: - September 25, 2020

A Kansas defense lawyer is frustrated by suspension of speedy-trial law, while the state's attorney general expects a flood of lawsuits on that point.

Kansas organizations advocating for people with disabilities and elderly individuals are urging Lee Norman, left, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and Gov. Laura Kelly to resume and expand public disclosure of COVID-19 clusters. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Disabled, elderly advocates eager for KDHE reporting of site-specific COVID-19 outbreaks

BY: - September 21, 2020

Advocates of elderly and disabled people in Kansas are urging KDHE to resume facility-specific reporting on spread of COVID-19 infection.

Gov. Laura Kelly directed flags in Kansas be flown at half-staff until sundown Monday in honor U.S. military personnel killed in a suicide bombing attack at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas politicians pay tribute to the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

BY: - September 19, 2020

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ordered U.S. flags in Kansas be flown at half-staff to honor late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Attorney: Driver’s license for undocumented immigrants key to safer roads in Kansas

BY: - September 17, 2020

TOPEKA — An Overland Park attorney is pushing for action that would allow undocumented immigrants in Kansas to obtain a state driver’s license, something she said is necessary for safer roads and safer immigrant populations. To obtain a Kansas driver’s license, immigrants are required to prove they are citizens of the U.S. by providing a […]

Kansas commission members seek refreshed ideas on race and the criminal justice system

BY: - September 8, 2020

TOPEKA — Members of a legislative panel said a refreshed approach to the intersection of criminal justice reform and race is needed after decades of inaction. Melody Brannon, a federal public defender in Kansas, said having the same conversations on police reform with the same ideas won’t move the needle to where marginalized communities need […]

Path to civic engagement for Kansas’ marginalized communities littered with barriers

BY: - September 5, 2020

TOPEKA — Shannon Portillo remembers the glares and sideways glances cast at her father, a darker-skinned, Mexican American man, and her mother, a blond, blue-eyed, white woman, as they entered their polling location together. Despite the looks, her parents took pride in voting, said Portillo, the assistant VP of academic affairs at the University of […]

Members of the Commission on Racial Equity and Justice express an interest Thursday in increasing diversity of listening session communities. (Noah Taborda/Kansas Reflector)

Kansas tribes seek clarity with federal, state law enforcement

BY: - September 4, 2020

TOPEKA — In Vivien Olsen’s experience as an American Indian tribal attorney, she has seen firsthand how the complicated tribal, state and federal law enforcement relationship has led to over-victimization of native people in Kansas. Olsen, the former tribal attorney for the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation in Kansas, said native people often face questions about […]

Spanish-speaking Kansans face language barrier amid COVID-19

BY: - August 30, 2020

Veronica Mireles knows from personal experience the perils many Kansas Latinos face navigating health care in Kansas without English fluency. When Mireles arrived at a hospital in Wichita with her ill son, she received a bilingual staff member rather than a qualified interpreter. The staff member provided some basic translations, but it was insufficient. “My […]

Members of the University of Kansas women's basketball team Friday led a Black Lives Matter march across campus to draw attention to pervasive racism and inequality. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

KU women’s basketball team leads Black Lives Matter march across campus

BY: - August 28, 2020

University of Kansas women's basketball team draws hundreds to Black Lives Matter march on campus in Lawrence.