Organization leader calls for improvements to Kansas African-American Affairs Commission

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – A Wichita man who said he served for seven years on the Kansas African-American Affairs Commission called Monday for improvements in the state organization.

James E. Barfield, a leader of the Kansas Advocates for Racial Justice and Equality, said the commission needed to move forward to accomplish the duties for which it was formed in 1993.

Barfield said some of the areas for improvement include improving communication between the commission and the state’s black residents; holding “town-hall meetings” on a regular basis to hear first-hand from black residents across the state; and coordinating efforts to improve cultural, educational, employment, health, housing, welfare and recreation opportunities for the state’s black residents.

Barfield said he has grown frustrated over what he said was a lack of attention to some of the responsibilities of the Kansas African-American Affairs Commission, dating back to the past few governors.

He said he met Monday morning with Gov. Laura Kelly to express his concerns.

Topekans Tamika Terry and Chris Ware joined Barfield outside the Statehouse early Monday afternoon to discuss their concerns with the commission.

Terry said she wanted to see more “transparency” and communication with the commission.

Efforts to reach the governor’s office for comment weren’t immediately successful.

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