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K-State Today

June 8, 2020

Letter from Gov. Laura Kelly to all state employees

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

To all State of Kansas employees, 

As your Governor, I want to address the recent, ongoing events taking place in our communities, our state and our nation. These expressions of anger and pain was sparked by the tragic deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and so many other Black Americans who have suffered at the hands of violence and systemic racism. My heart goes out to the Black communities in Kansas and across our nation who are affected by these injustices. We understand and must acknowledge how this is impacting all of our staff members — but particularly Black employees. 

I recognize that we are not immune to issues of racial inequality and intolerance in Kansas or in our workplaces. However, I have hope we will use this moment to continue to strive for an environment where everyone is welcome, supported, and valued. Together, we must listen to the voices of marginalized communities and speak out against injustice in our workplaces and our public institutions. 

I am committed to taking action against racial inequality and to address the institutional racism embedded in our society, our economy and our laws. I have instructed my team to give this matter their full attention, and to develop a strategy for how to create change in Kansas. I pledge to you that action is coming. Further initiatives will be announced in the coming weeks and months. We will confront these painful issues as if our lives depend on it — because for Black Kansans, it does. 

Over the last few months, COVID-19 has brought unprecedented and daunting challenges for all our agencies. We have been separated and a great number of employees are working remotely. Many have been working nearly around the clock, for weeks, to deliver critical services to Kansans who need them. And for that, we are thankful. But we recognize that, particularly for our employees of color, reliving the trauma of violence and generations of institutional racism — on top of handing COVID-related stress — is unimaginably exhausting. 

My administration is dedicated to doing all we can to support you both now and as we go forward, together. During these challenging times, I encourage any State of Kansas employee who needs help to contact the Employee Assistance Program. This program exists specifically to assist you during times of crisis. You can find the details here: https://www.kdheks.gov/hcf/sehp/download/Employee_Assistance_Program_EAP.pdf 

Thank you for all that you continue to do. Please know that I stand with you through these challenges. 


Laura Kelly
Governor of Kansas