The 13 members of the Commission on Reparations appointed by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas were sworn in earlier this week.  The Kansas City Council voted on the ordinance creating the commission in January. 

The Mayor’s Commission on Reparations is charged with studying, developing, adopting, and implementing a reparations plan for Kansas City’s Black community. The plan would include recommendations on the scope and eligibility for a citywide reparations program.

The reparations commission will focus on five areas of discrimination: housing, education, healthcare, economic development, and criminal justice. The commission will issue a preliminary report of its findings within one year and a final report within 18 months. 

The mayor selected Terri Barnes, president of the nonprofit Nia Project as chair to chair the commission.  Mickey Dean and Ester Hozendorf, members of the Kansas City Reparations Coalition who worked with the mayor to develop the reparations ordinance, will serve as ex-officio members of the commission who will help onboard the commission members.

Eight of the commission members, including the chair, were recommended by the Reparations Coalition.  

Four members of the 14 member Kansas City Reparations Commission listen tentatively during their initial organizational meeting held May 23, include: (L-R) Keneth Ford, Will Bowles, Cornell Ellis and Fritz Riesmeyer

Appointed to the commission are:

  • Terri Barnes, chair, nonprofit leader and president of the Nia Project
  • Linwood Tauheed, associate professor of economics, UMKC
  • Cornell Ellis, educator and founder of Brothers Liberating Our Communities 
  • Dionne King, consultant, DMK Consults
  • Madison Lyman, student, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy
  • Ryan Sorrell, founder of the KC Defender
  • Kenneth Ford, author, Descendent Freedman Alliance 
  • Fritz Riesmeyer, partner, Seigfreid Bingham
  • Bridgette Jones, professor of pediatrics, UMKC 
  • Kelli Hearn, housing leader, program officer at LISC Greater Kansas City
  • Will Bowles, advocate, Kansas City Black United Front
  • Danise Hartsfield, executive director of Communities Creating Opportunities
  • Ajia Morris, urban developer and cofounder of Greenline Initiative
  • Mickey Dean, Kansas City Reparations Coalition
  • Ester Holzendorf, Kansas City Reparations Coalition