Last evening, friends, peers and family members joined Kansas Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau at The Kansas African American Museum as she received virtually the award of Kansas Legislator of the Year from Kansas Interfaith Action (KIFA).

Senator Faust-Goudeau who represents Kansas’ 29th Senate district is the first Black woman to serve in the Kansas State Senate.

Senator Faust-Goudeau who represents Kansas’ 29th Senate district is the first Black woman to serve in the Kansas State Senate. She has served in the Senate since 2009 and has acted as the Senate Assistant Minority Leader since 2019.

Kansas Senate Minority Leader Dinah Sykes, who introduced Faust-Goudeau during the virtual event, said she believed Faust-Goueau has more legislation signed into law than another Democrat.

“KIFA has been working with Sen. Faust-Goudeau on racial and economic justice issues since we began our work in the Kansas legislature in 2016,” said Rabbi Moti Rieber, Executive Director of KIFA. “She is an incredibly skilled legislator, able to work with people from both sides of the aisle and to get things passed even from the minority party. And most of all, she has a big heart. KIFA is pleased to recognize her with our Legislator of the Year award.”

The award was presented to Sen. Faust-Goudeau as part of their Annual Meeting, which for the second year in a row was held virtually.  Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Rogers and his wife Chris, in partnership with The Kansas African American Museum, sponsored the watch party for the virtual meeting.  It was at that meeting that Faust-Goudeau graciously accepted the award.

“I had the honor of working side-by-side with Senator Faust-Goudeau during my time in the Legislature,” said State Treasurer Lynn Rogers. “She shows an unmatched dedication to her constituents and remains a central figure in the Wichita community. We worked together to strengthen our state’s economic footing, protect our schools, and combat discriminatory bills that undermined the rights of Kansans. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Other awards presented that evening were: 

Beloved Community Award: Kansas Action for Children

Beloved Community Award: Larry Erickson

KIFA Service Award: Linda Thurston

The keynote address for the evening was delivered by Minnesota Attorney Geneal and former U.S. Representative Keith Ellison who successfully led the prosecution of Officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd.

Since 1996, Bonita has served as as Editor-in-Chief of The Community Voice newspaper. As the owner, she has guided the Wichita-based publication’s growth in reach across the state of Kansas and into...

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