Kansas Racial Equity





Black and brown children are in the foster care system at double the rate they are in the population. Data also shows once these children are in foster care, they have worse outcomes and experiences.   

The Racial Equity Collaborative is a statewide effort to understand the history of racial inequities in child welfare and to define the problem through a shared language, so we all advocate for racial equity.

Understanding the Historical Context of Structural Racism and Current Day Implications: How We Got Here and a Better Path Forward
Wednesday September 29th, 2021
Lecture 11:30a – 1:30p
Speakers: Haywood Burns Institute

Addressing Racial Inequities in Child Welfare: View from Early Childhood Education
Wednesday October 27th, 2021
Lecture 11:30a – 1:30p
Speaker: Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D.

Debunking Myths Around Racial Inequities in Child Welfare
Jan 26, 2022
Lecture 11:30a – 1:30p
Panel Discussion

 Forward Movement: Shifting from Control of to Support for Black and Brown Families
Feb 23, 2022
Lecture 11:30a – 1:30p
Panel Discussion

April 15, 2022
The Burge Union – University of Kansas
1565 Irving Hill Rd Lawrence, KS 66045

A 4-part lecture series from experts taking the state of Kansas on a learning journey to examine the history of child welfare and black and brown families and advance better outcomes 

(In Person Invitation Only) 

Leaders and influencers will be invited to this interactive exchange in an effort to reimagine how changes can be made among their sphere of influence.


Department for Children and Families Regional Director Shanelle Dupree, Department for Children and Families Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer Brandi Turner, CarePortal Regional Manager Abby Fry, CarePortal Child and Family Advocate Ashley Smith, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Doctoral Student Kelechi Wright, Associate Researcher Pegah Naemi Jimenez, PhD., Associate Professor, PhD Program Director Dr. Becci Akin, and University of Kansas School of Social Welfare Project Manager for Kansas Strong for Children and Families Sarah McCall.

ABOUT Kansas Department for Children and Families

The Kansas Department for Children and Families is a state agency in Kansas, responsible for the delivery of social services to those in need of them. The agency was founded in 1973, and it is currently headed by Laura Howard.

ABOUT CarePortal

CarePortal is a technology connecting platform that brings the needs of hurting children and families in your community to your attention. Caseworkers uncover the needs. CarePortal makes local churches and community members aware, giving them a real-time opportunity to respond.

ABOUT The University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

The School of Social Welfare is in the University of Kansas, a major public research and teaching institution of nearly 30,000 students and 2,600 faculty members on five campuses (Lawrence, Kansas City, Overland Park, Wichita, and Salina). The mission to educate leaders, build healthy communities, and make discoveries that change the world unites KU’s diverse elements.

ABOUT The Core Collaborators

The “Core Collaborators” are individuals from 3 organizations across Kansas who came together to address racial inequities in the child welfare system. They are using their influence as employees of a state social service agency, a faith and community organization, and a premier public research university to seek change. The Core Collaborators are bringing together important members in the child welfare system to make necessary and long-lasting changes for the benefit of Black and Brown families disproportionally harmed by the child welfare system.

“I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”

Angela Davis – American political activist, philosopher, academic and author