In April 2021, Jewell announced the establishment of a Racial Reconciliation Commission to find and express both a historical and moral truth about the racial history of the institution. The first report was released in January 2022.
> Racial Reconciliation Report 1848-1879 DRAFT 1
This research is not only regarded as pivotal to the Jewell community, but will provide insights into regional history, serving as a bridge to critical conversations around race.
Dr. Elizabeth MacLeod Walls, president, and Dr. Rodney Smith, vice president for access and engagement, have established a Racial Reconciliation Commission, with the aim of “guiding the communication of these findings to various audiences and to help shape Jewell’s next steps in an intentional way.”
The Commission includes broad representation across campus groups and organizations throughout Kansas City. These Commission is tasked with asking difficult questions and identifying broad communications opportunities for 1) sharing the research findings and 2) recommending actionable items for Jewell.
“William Jewell College has a deep passion for and commitment to the shared prosperity initiative throughout the Kansas City region, and our history is a critical piece of this conversation,” said Jewell President Dr. MacLeod Walls. “With the launch of purposeful, institution-wide inclusivity efforts more than two years ago,” she continued, “Jewell has made significant strides in welcoming diverse students and employees and in looking at all of our policies and practices—price and access in particular—through an equity lens. We are eager to build upon this momentum with the launching of the Commission.”
“The work of the Commission will explore Jewell’s racial history,” noted Dr. Rodney Smith. “The Commission will serve as the spear-heading body of this work, coming together to analyze the arc of time from William Jewell’s founding to today, and become the driving force in creating change for good. I’m encouraged by Jewell’s commitment to this research, and for asking critical questions and furthering conversations about race.”
Jewell’s research will be preserved and made available to the public at the Black Archives of Mid-America Kansas City, ensuring ongoing opportunities for public education and dialogue.
“We are pleased to support the efforts of William Jewell College and the Racial Reconciliation Commission,” said Dr. Carmaletta Williams, executive director of the Black Archives. “Their work is in alignment with the Archives’ mission to honor our community heritage and catalyze public awareness and will become an important part of our collection at the Archives.”
- Dr. Donna Gardner, Professor/Chair Emeritus of the Education Department
- Vincent Paul Gauthier, Kansas City Real Estate Historian
- Brynesha Griffin-Bey, Student Representative
- Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard, Distinguished Alumnus and President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City
- Eileen Houston-Stewart, William Jewell Trustee Emerita and Alumna
- Marcus Jones, Alumni Representative
- Dr. Anthony Maglione, Faculty Representative, Professor of Music/Director of Choral Studies
- Mark Mathes, Distinguished Alumnus and Liberty Resident
- Chris McCabe, Staff Representative, Head Men’s Basketball Coach
- Clark Morris, Staff Representative, Vice President for Advancement
- Keith Pence, William Jewell College Trustee
- Dr. Andy Pratt, Dean Emeritus of the Chapel/Religious Historian
- Dr. Cecelia Robinson, Professor Emerita and Historian of Clay County African American Legacy, Inc.
- Dr. David Sallee, Community Advisor and William Jewell College President Emeritus
- Dr. Rodney Smith, Commission Chair and Vice President for Access and Engagement
- Dr. Carmaletta Williams, Executive Director of Mid-America Black Archives