Wichita Among 15 Cities Chosen For National Racial Equity Initiative

Oct 9, 2017

Credit National League of Cities Twitter

Wichita has been selected to participate in a nationwide program focused on advancing racial equality.

The National League of Cities chose just 15 cities for the program, part of its Race, Equity and Leadership initiative.

Along with Wichita, the inaugural group includes cities such as Gary, Indiana; Boston; and Philadelphia. Over the next 18 months, city leaders will work together to find ways to strengthen equity and ease racial tensions in their communities.

City Councilwoman Lavonta Williams says Wichita has already started to work on those issues, including hosting the “No Ferguson Here” meeting in 2014, and last year’s First Step cookout.

“Wichita just needs to continue to have that dialogue. I think we’ll be OK," she says. "I think that’s why we were chosen, because we have done things well.”

There are things she wants to see improved through the program—including getting the city to hire more minority contractors.

She says the community needs to have difficult conversations about race--something many people don't want to do.

"I'm also hoping that this will put down those barriers of not wanting to talk about it, or having uneasiness as you talk about it," she says.

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