Unified Government Black History Committee

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What is the Black History Committee?

The Black History Committee (BHC) is a Committee comprised of Unified Government employees and community members who seek to educate and empower on cultural awareness and pride. Our Mission is to inspire, respect, and celebrate African Americans' lifelong achievements, history, and future in our community and in America.

Our Purpose:

Our goal is to break down community barriers by inviting everyone to join us in celebrating Black History Month with the local government. The yearly commemoration began in the United States in 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson advocated that it be used to commemorate African Americans and improve awareness of Black history.

What We Do:

The Black History Committee (BHC) of the Unified Government is a volunteer committee that hosts an annual banquet to honor African American achievements, provide educational scholarships to local educational institutions, award door prizes, feature keynote speakers, recognize minority-owned businesses in our community, and provide live entertainment for our guests' enjoyment.

Committee Background:

The Black History Committee (BHC) has been in existence since 1982. The founders met with city administrators and the mayor to seek support for forming a committee that would represent the local government in organizing an annual event for Black History Month, awarding scholarships to local institutions, and highlighting local businesses in Wyandotte County. The committee has continued contributing back to the community for forty years by generating funds, creating awareness of community efforts, and collaborating with local educational institutions.

Current BHC Members:

Shaya Lockett, Chair Deasiray Bush, Vice-Chair
Janice Barnett, Secretary Gordon Criswell, Treasurer
Jaron Briggs Tyszu Woolridge
Reginald Lindsey Sherry Love
Krystal McFeders Brandy Wells


How to be Involved:

The BHC would like to encourage UG employees to join the committee in the spring of 2023. The committee can consist of 15 members. We're searching for someone with fundraising expertise, community partner contacts, and the ability to participate in meetings, events, and lead subcommittees. We're also seeking volunteers for a Fundraiser Sub-Committee.  

Not interested in being a member of our committee? Don't worry, you may still help us by promoting upcoming events, donating to our scholarship fund, or providing support.

32nd Annual KCK Black History & Scholarship CELEBRATION  

Mark your calendars now to attend this year's BHC celebration and scholarship brunch. Come and enjoy amazing food and networking, while supporting scholarships for local KCK students. This year's special keynote speaker will be two-time best-selling author and City of Cincinnati Assistant City Manager Dr. Natasha Hampton. This year's theme will focus on "African Americans and the Arts". Event tickets and sponsorship opportunities will become available on 1/18/2024. 

Secure Your Ticket Today!

2024 Silent Auction - Place your Bid Now!

BHC 2024 Event Flyer v2

Read More About Dr. Natasha Hampton

Dr. Natasha Hampton

With more than two decades of executive leadership, Natasha Hampton started her illustrious public service career in 1997. She has served as Acting City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Chief Marketing Officer, and Director of Human Resources to name a few, in the states of Florida, North Carolina and Ohio with oversight of more than $3B in general, enterprise and capital funds to date.

Recognized as one of South Florida’s 50 Most Powerful and Influential Leaders, South Florida’s 25 Most Prominent and Influential Women in Business, featured in the international publication Caribbean Today for making a lasting Impression on U.S. Business Landscape, a March of Dimes Woman of Distinction and League of Women in Government Trailblazer finalist, Natasha brings innovation and transformative management to urban governance.

She is a Toastmasters award-winning international public speaker having addressed audiences in Qingdao, and Beijing, China, Polokwane, South Africa, Kenya, East Africa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Canada, North America. Ms. Hampton is a University Professor of Business Management, Leadership Development, Human Resources and Organizational Behavior.

Ms. Hampton was conferred the degree of Doctorate in Business and Leadership (honoris causa), and holds a Master of Public Administration, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Administration and is an International City County Manager Association Credentialed Manager (ICMA-CM).

Natasha is also a two-time best-selling author and is the recipient of several prestigious honors and recognitions for her commitment to youth, communities, diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Today she personifies what it means to ascend above adversity while inspiring countless others to do the same. Having honed her expertise for over two decades, her work is a testament to what it means to leave an undeniable mark on the world.


2/18/2023 - 31st Annual Celebration & Scholarship Banquet

31st Annual Black History Celebration and Scholarship Banquet 

2023 Theme: "Preserving Our History"

On Saturday, February 18, 2023, the Unified Government Black History Committee hosted a night full of networking, local entertainment, amazing food and drinks as well as an engaging panel discussion focusing on honoring and preserving the history of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas. It is important that the legacy of our historic landmarks are not only recognized but preserved for the understanding and enjoyment of generations to come. 

Panel Discussion Theme: Preserving Our History 

Moderator: Gordon Criswell 
Event Panelists:

  • Amy Loch - Director of the Wyandotte County Musuem 
  • Randy Greeves - Unified Government Historic Preservationist 
  • John L. McPherson III - Owner of JLM Construction 
  • Sheleah D. McPherson - Owner of Leah’s Laundromat on the Q


Donations and proceeds from this event went towards scholarships for Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas students.  



Donate Now


Donations will help local educational institutions in Wyandotte County pay for students' tuition, books, and fees.

We Accept Checks!
Make your check payable to KCK African American History Committee and mail to:

5033 State Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66101
Attention: Shaya Lockett

Past Events

30th Annual Black History Celebration & Scholarship Event

2022 Theme: Black Health & Awareness

This event consisted of a dynamic and engaging community discussion moderated by UG Public Information Officer, Krystal McFeders with special guests:

Nicole Garner, Unified Government Public Health Department Operations Manager

Tykeisha Kelly, Special Education Social Worker

  • When: Friday, February 25, 2022
  • Time: 1:00 PM
  • Where: Virtual Live Stream (Zoom & Facebook)
    Click Here to Access the Event Video

Scholarships Awards: Donnelly College and Kansas City Kansas Community College (KCKCC)
2022 Legendary Award: Morris Letcher
Community Business Award: Anna's BLD Bistro

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We look forward to engaging with you!

Past Event and Community Engagement Photos







Community Health & Awareness Resources

Listed below are a few community health and awareness resources provided by 2/25/22 event speakers Nicole Garner and TyKeisha Kelly.  

Source: Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Source: Association of Black Cardiologists 

Source: Unified Government Public Health Department (UGPHD)
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information – Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City (wycokck.org)

Health & Awareness Resources (English & Spanish)(PDF, 2MB)