“The problem of racism in this country is multi-faceted and complex,” said Director Bill Lacy. “As we move forward in this series, we want to address additional communities and how racism affects them. For the second installment of ‘A Conversation on Race,’ we will discuss Asian-Pacific and Hispanic concerns. We look forward to another insightful, respectful, and important discussion with a stellar panel of guests.”
The event will feature Christina Haswood, Territory Senator Carmelo J. Ríos-Santiago, State Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos, and former State Representative Jene Vickrey and will be moderated by Senior Associate Director of the Institute, Dr. Barbara Ballard.
Christina Haswood is a public health professional and a candidate for the Kansas House of Representatives in District 10. She is also a member of the Navajo Nation, and if elected, she would be just the third Native American in Kansas history to be a state legislature. She received endorsements from Emily’s List, the Kansas National Education Association, the Sunrise Movement of Lawrence Kansas, the Kansas Sierra Club, seven current Kansas state legislators, as well as former Governor Kathleen Sebelius and current Congresswoman Deb Haaland and Congresswoman Sharice Davids. She is currently running unopposed for the general election.
Carmelo J. Ríos-Santiago is the current Majority Leader of the Puerto Rico State Senate. In 2004, he was elected as one of the youngest Senators of his class, representing the Bayamón District of Puerto Rico and chaired the Municipal and Financial Affairs Committee. He was elected in 2018 as President of the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, a non-profit organization representing over 400 elected Hispanic state legislators throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. During his tenure, he was also part of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.
Sharon Tomiko Santos was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives in 1998. She chairs the House Education Committee and serves on the House Capital Budget Committee and Consumer Protection & Business Committee. She has received numerous awards for her legislative and community work, including the Kip Tokuda Community Leadership Award from the Asian Pacific Islander Community Leadership Foundation and the Leadership and Vision Award from Junior Achievement of Washington.
Jene Vickrey is life long resident of Louisburg, Kansas. He was elected to the Kansas House in 1992 and recently retired after 28 years. He was elected to serve as Assistant Majority Leader, Speaker Pro Tem, and Majority Leader for two terms.
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