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Journal Talks: Bringing Together Our Changing Communities

The cover story of The Journal’s Summer 2023 edition comes from a diverse group of 10 Kansans who gathered to discuss the topics of immigration and demographic change with us late last year. They came to the topic from different perspectives. About half had voted for Biden and half for Trump in the 2020 election. But as they worked to complicate the narrative on two polarizing topics, they found surprising areas of common ground. Now they’re calling on others to join their conversation and make the most of our changing communities right now.

Welcome to Journal Talks: Bringing Together Our Changing Communities, a series of conversations across the state of Kansas meant to explore what values unite us as Americans and how our communities navigate changes and thrive.

Meet the Complicating the Narrative Thought Partners

Alba Gutierrez-Ortiz, Dodge City; Clemente Bobadilla-Reyes, Wichita; David Sotelo, Hutchinson; Inas Younis, Overland Park; Jim Terrones, Olathe; Josey Hammer, Courtland; Mark Lowry, Stockton, Marty Hillard, Topeka; Peggy Ruebke, Nickerson; and Reynaldo Mesa, Garden City.

Opening Dialogue

The ‘Bringing Together Our Changing Communities’ series kicked off with a statewide talk on August 17. The Journal’s Complicating the Narrative Thought Partners on immigration and demographic change spoke from the heart and participants stretched their muscles to go beyond the national news headlines and political talking points.

Your next opportunity to engage is to host a local conversation on the topic by utilizing the resources found on this page. We would love to hear back from you about what you learned at your local discussion!

Community Discussions

Do you want to contribute to improving conversations about immigration and demographic change in Kansas? Participate in a community conversation!

Following the initial Journal Talk at KLC on August 17, we’re inviting communities across the state to host a conversation in their town. Local organizations, like community leadership programs, will lead and facilitate these discussions. We invite residents of these communities to gather in groups for 60 or 90 minutes and answer important questions together.

We encourage you to reach a consensus on your answers, stake a position, and share your decisions with the rest of Kansas.

Quick links to resources from the guide:

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