Welcome to the
Many Pieces. One Mission.
“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
— Nora Roberts
Inspired by the words of novelist Nora Roberts, Bonita Gooch, owner of the only Black news media in Kansas, recognized the opportunity for the African American community throughout Kansas to step forward and ask for the change they needed. She invited others to join her efforts, and in the fall of 2015, the Kansas Black Leadership Council (KBLC) was launched.
African Americans from throughout Kansas were invited to meet to identify the KBLC legislative priorities. The KBLC platform was then presented to state legislators and individual KBLC members were encouraged to advocate for issues as well. That tradition is still at the heart of what we do, and today KBLC partners with the Kansas African American Affairs Commission and the Kansas African American Legislative Caucus to host a Black Legislative Day at the Capitol. A full day of events is organized inside the Kansas Capitol, including an issue forum, advocacy training, visits with key legislators, and a legislative reception. The day also provides an opportunity to connect with community leaders and activists from across the state.
KBLC also lends our voice in support of other organizations where our interests converge. We have partnered with groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP, Kansas Interfaith Action, and Kansas Appleseed to advocate for state legislation.
In 2021, KBLC welcomed new faces, and a new mission. The Kansas Black Leadership Council not only advocates for the change we seek, but we are actively working in Kansas communities to remove barriers to health, wealth, and social outcomes. We envision a Kansas where African Americans are able to overcome systemic level inequalities and thrive. We will accomplish this through research, education, voter engagement, and advocacy.
KBLC seeks partners, allies and champions who are willing to help reimagine a new ecosystem for Black Kansans. Please contact us to learn about how you can become involved.