Read about the November 2021 meeting of the Commission on Race and Opportunity here

Following the 2021 General Assembly, SB 10, co-sponsored by Senator Givens, Senator Whitney Westerfield, and Senate President Robert Stivers, became law and established the Commission on Race and Access to Opportunity. The group is tasked with studying and researching issues where disparities may exist across various sectors to determine areas of improvement and to provide services and opportunities for communities of color.

This month, the Commission convened for their first interim committee meeting and reflected briefly on their progress and areas for growth before discussing legislation that directly impacts communities of color. Several of the bills discussed included: 

  • HB 31/SB 363, addresses discriminatory practices specifically related to specific hairstyles, like braids and dreadlocks. 
  • HB 37, addresses implicit bias in pre- and postnatal care. 
  • HB 120, expands eligibility for preschool education programs to children who reside in households with an income that is at or below the 200% federal poverty level. 
  • SB 103, requires racial and ethnic impact statements be utilized for certain legislation and administrative regulations. 

Every month, the Commission will invite experts, who have been interviewed by the co-chairs ahead of time, to testify on the identified topic that month. The objectives are to ensure the Commission is knowledgeable about the topic discussed, that they can clearly understand the racial impact, and begin to identify policy and practice implications for addressing the issue. 

  • July: Economic opportunity 
  • August: Educational equity 
  • September: Criminal and juvenile justice issues 
  • October: Health outcomes in child welfare 
  • November: Data and commission legislation 

The Commission acknowledges that 2021-2022 was their formative year and looks forward to having more respectful conversations and doing the important work of creating an equitable Kentucky. As we closely monitor the Commission’s work throughout the interim, we will keep child advocates and our partners informed. 


Photo by Paris Lopez on Unsplash