Chris Sanders: Project Manager of Kerner Commission 2.0

In 1968, the Kerner Commission report became a nationwide bestseller, which predicted that "Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white — separate and unequal." Martin Luther King Jr. pronounced the report to be a "physician's warning of approaching death, with a prescription for life."

The commission was organized by then-President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1967 after rioting had spread across the nation, beginning with the Watts Riots in Los Angeles in 1965 and culminating in the Newark Riots that year.

Almost half a century later, when riots spread across the nation in 2020, President Kevin W. Cosby of Simmons College of Kentucky, one of the state’s two historically Black colleges, suggested that a new study be done for the city of Louisville, and Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear took up the cause. Twelve Louisville-area commissioners were appointed to form what became known as the Kerner Commission 2.0 (KC2).

Simmons College of Kentucky: Background

Simmons College of Kentucky is a private, historically-Black college in Louisville, Kentucky. Founded in 1879, it is the nation's 107th HBCU, accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education. Simmons College of Kentucky’s 9-to-1 student-faculty ratio ranks in the top five of all HBCUs.

The college’s mission is to be “an institution of biblical higher education dedicated to educating people through strong academic and professional programs, in order that they may become productive citizens and agents of change in society.”

Over the course of their study, the KC2 commissioners released five recommendations, which they termed The Five Commitments:

  • Prepare, train, and employ Black educators for K-12 schools
  • Increase the number of student scholarships at Kentucky’s historically-Black colleges and universities (HBCUs)
  • Develop and sustain career pathways to promote a thriving Black middle class in Louisville
  • Advance economic equity for Black Louisville residents through a Black Asset Map
  • Establish a deeper relationship with — and support for — Kentucky’s two HBCUs

At Chris Sanders Law PLLC, I help forge alliances for progress and social justice, representing individuals and underserved communities. I represent schools, churches, denominations, networks, advocacy organizations, and coalitions of all kinds. In this case, we'll move KC2’s Five Commitments toward implementation, with help from anyone else who believes in the cause. 

Advancing the Goals of KC2 with Simmons College of Kentucky 

It's been an honor to serve as project manager for Kerner Commission 2.0. Whether speaking out, organizing with others, doing fundraising activities, or providing legal and logistical support, there's more to do. Contact me today at Chris Sanders Law PLLC. Let’s work together for Simmons College of Kentucky and HBCUs everywhere.

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