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
- Adrian Rodriguez Office of Student Life and Multicultural Affairs
- 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
- Vanessa Salinas USD383 Committee on Diversity and Inclusion
- Vedant Kulkarni K-State SGA International Affairs Director
- Michael Lambert Flint Hills Human Rights Project
- Vacant 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
- 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)