The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced the appointment of 12 people to the Kansas Civil Rights Advisory Committee, including two people with connections to the Sentinel.
Michael Austin, an economist, is Director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Government at the Sentinel’s parent company, Kansas Policy Institute. Phyllis Nolan, another appointee, is a member of the KPI board.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights says it was established by the Civil Rights Act of 1957, and is the only independent, bipartisan agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights and reporting annually on federal civil rights enforcement. Their state Advisory Committees offer a broad perspective on civil rights concerns at state and local levels.
Before joining KPI, Austin served as an economist in various roles of Kansas state government. He graduated from the Washburn University School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration and double majored in management and economics, and has a Master of Arts in Economics from the University of Kansas.
“I am most humbled for the chance to advise the President and Congress on Kansas’s progression towards civil rights and true equality for all. In 2020, my heart aches to the turmoil and civil unrest we see on display. However, from that pain, I still carry hope. A hope that soon we understand that the content of our character must speak louder than the color of our skin. A hope that we believe the best path to racial harmony and fairness is to be the best of ourselves. I will be honored to speak that voice to our nation’s leaders. “
Phyllis Nolan served in several executive positions with Hallmark Cards, Inc. until 1997, and subsequently served as the president of a specialty catalog/retail clothing company with production operations in South America and sales operations in the United States and Europe. Nolan has a strong passion for education and served as the Project Director for the Teacher Development Coalition at the University of Kansas and the board chair of the Kansas Board of Regents. She is involved with many other civic and women’s organizations and received her MBA from Rockhurst College in Kansas City, Missouri.
“I am pleased to be appointed to serve another term on the Kansas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. It is important that private citizens be involved in advising the President and Congress on civil rights issues of importance to our individual states. The Kansas Committee is comprised of a diverse group of individuals who collectively broaden our awareness and knowledge of issues affecting Kansas. It is a pleasure and an honor to serve.”
The other appointees are: Mildred Edwards, Chair; Kenya Cox, Moussa Elbayoumy, Marche Fleming-Randle, John Fliter, Steven Gieber, Mary Lehoczky, Sally Murguia, Kirk Perucca, and Carla Pratt.