YWCA announces panelists for Race, Ethnicity and Religion Forum
The forum will be held at the YWCA building, 225 W. 12th Street at 6:30 PM. Panel moderator will be Matt Johnson, Opinion Editor of the Topeka Capital-Journal. Johnson is a recent addition to the staff. Johnson, a native of Salina, has degrees in political science from the University of Kansas. As opinion editor, he emphasizes community engagement.
Joining Johnson on the panel will be Omar Hazim, Imam at the Islamic Center of Topeka, Veronica Padilla, former national chair of MANA, a Latina leadership organization and Karla Clem, President of the Board of Directors of YWCA of Northeast Kansas.
Imam Omar Hazim is the Imam of the Islamic Center of Topeka. He is the Islamic advisor to the Kansas Dept. of Corrections and also serves on an advisory group to the Chief of Police in Topeka. Imam Hazim is a builder by trade, and has helped to establish many mosques and Islamic Centers in the Kansas City, and Topeka area over the past 47 years.
After retiring from a sales career at The Topeka Capital-Journal in 2007, Veronica “Ronnie” Padilla became an active volunteer in the community. She has been involved for many years on the boards of MANA de Topeka, the YWCA of Topeka and Midland Care. She is a chaplain for the National Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary.
Karla Clem has been president of the board of directors of the YWCA of Northeast Kansas for 3 years and has served on the board since 2011. She currently is CEO of Polo Custom Products, a Topeka-based manufacturing firm.
The community forums are featuring multiracial, multi-ethnic panels as they engage the community in a discussion of the effects of racism on the community and its individuals. Two forums have been held to date, at Washburn Law School in cooperation with the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice and at Avondale East NET Center, in cooperation with the Topeka Rescue Mission.
Two more community forums are planned as well as a discussion of the topic during a live KTWU broadcast of “I’ve Got Issues” on November 17th at 7:30 p.m.
On Oct 17th at 6:30 p.m., Pastor Delmar White of New Mt. Zion Baptist Church will moderate the forum at Highland Park High School Media Center. Panelists will include Deqa Rabile, an immigrant woman from Somalia who is employed at the State of Kansas as a chemist; Jessica de la Rosa, a recent graduate of Highland Park High School and 2016 Future Leader of the YWCA’s Leadership Luncheon; Darren Canady, Topeka playwright, author and Assistant Professor of Theater at Kansas University.
The final forum will be held on November 1st, 6:30 p.m. at the LDS Stake Center, 2301 Kingsrow in Topeka. Moderator John Christensen, president of Interfaith of Topeka, will be joined by Washburn professor Ali Khan and columnist Glenda Overstreet.
The public is invited to all programs.