Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force

The Manhattan City Commission approved the formation of the Manhattan Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to research and recommend best practices in order to create a more inclusive and welcoming community that includes racial, social-economic, and ethnic diversity in the growth of Manhattan. The DEI Task Force will be different from existing City Advisory Boards in that it will only convene for up to one year and will be tasked to make recommendations which will be directed to the community at large.  

The DEI Task Force is comprised of 25 members identified by 2020 Mayor and current City Commissioner, Usha Reddi.  Each member will serve a one-year appointment on the task force as a representative of an organization which serves the community and speaks for the broad spectrum of diversity in Manhattan.  Reddi originally proposed the formation of the task force at the June 16, 2020 City Commission meeting and obtained City Commission concurrence at the January 5, 2021 City Commission meeting.

The task force will meet monthly during 2021 to make recommendations in the following areas: individual and family support, economic opportunity, public safety, livability, and health and wellness.  Meetings of the Task Force will be noticed to the public for attendance, if held in person, or will be broadcast on public media platforms, if they are held virtually.  

Task Force Members

  • Tanya Gonzalez, Co-Chair     
  • Corey Williamson, Co-Chair
  • Mirta Chavez                      Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs 
  • Dr. Be Stoney                     K-State Office of Diversity 
  • Dantia MacDonald              Morningstar Inc. 
  • Dennis Butler                      Riley County Police Department 
  • Jason Smith                        Manhattan Chamber of Commerce 
  • Johnny Taylor                      Flint Hills Job Corps 
  • Jurdene Coleman               Pawnee Mental Health 
  • Vacant                                 Big Lakes Development Center 
  • Lorenza Lockett                  Coalition for Equal Justice 
  • Pedro Espinoza                   ALIANZA 
  • Paul Shipp                           Kansas Legal Services 
  • Ronald Atkinson                  Veteran Service Organization
  • Susan Rensing                    Flint Hills Wellness Coalition 
  • Teresa Parks                       Black Lives Matter Manhattan 
  • Jim Armendariz                   USD383 Committee on Diversity and Inclusion 
  • Vedant Kulkarni                   K-State SGA International Affairs Director  
  • Michael Lambert                  Flint Hills Human Rights Project
  • Lakesha James                    Human Rights and Services Advisory Board 
  • Cara Bruce                           K-State Black Student Union  
  • Dr. Elfadil Bashir                   Interfaiths (Islamic Center of Manhattan) 
  • Rachel Corn                         Manhattan High School Student Council
  • Victor H. Banda-Medina       B.O.L.O -- Hispanic American Leadership Organization
  • Vacant                                  Black Entrepreneurs of the Flint Hills 


  • Keisha Clark                         MHK Housing Authority Advisory Comm (Participant)
  • Audrey Swartz                      KSU Indigenous Alliance (Participant)
  • Vibhavari Jani                       Asian American Representative (Participant)
  • Claudia Diaz                         Flint Hills Association of Realtors (Participant)
  • Dr. Melissa Rosso                Riley County Medical Society (Participant)