Wichita, Kan. – In the last two weeks, the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) in partnership with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has fully launched “Kansas Beats the Virus” (#KSBeatsTheVirus), a statewide, bi-partisan public health intervention to combat the pandemic.

Between now and December 31, 2020, KLC’s alumni, community leadership programs and grant partners around the state are convening and facilitating virtual meetings with neighbors and community members. Those gathered are identifying, discussing and creating community action plans to combat COVID-19 in their local community.

“We’re charging our statewide network of partners and 12,000 leadership program graduates to lead virtual, non-partisan meetings that generate local support and stimulate concrete action to slow the spread of the virus. We have set the audacious goal of convening 1,000 meetings and are well on our way to making the goal and exceeding it,” said Ed O’Malley, president and CEO of the Kansas Leadership Center.

As of Noon today, members of the Kansas Beats the Virus network have:

  • Committed to hold up to 1,150 potential meetings
  • Scheduled 340 meetings
  • Designed 34 action plans to launch immediately
  • 72 Kansas counties represented among meetings

A few examples of community action plans emerging from local meetings include:

  • The Council of Elders in the neighborhoods of northeast Wichita are creating a text alert campaign to spread awareness among the Black community about the vaccine and other issues connected to the pandemic.
  • Students at the North Central Kansas Technical are creating “quarantine kits,” complete with health information, basic supplies and a few fun things too, with the goal of making staying in quarantine a little more doable for students.
  • A Southwest Kansas group connected to Research and Extension is promoting the use of an app from the local grocery store to help reduce foot traffic and to especially help seniors so they can safely get groceries.

“As we work on this campaign over the next few weeks, our hope is to not only energize and support the KLC network who are committed to our purpose, but to inspire all Kansans to come up with their own version of what they can do to be architects for the common good,” said O’Malley.

Follow the progress of the Beat the Virus campaign here.

About the Kansas Leadership Center
The Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) is a singular educational organization founded to foster civic leadership for healthier Kansas communities. Its programs and teachings present leadership as an activity available to anyone at any time. KLC offers training for organizations, teams and individuals as well as advanced programs for leadership development practitioners. It provides development grants for civically oriented organizations in Kansas, partners with community leadership programs and offers customized trainings for businesses and non-profits alike. KLC hosts civic leadership forums and encourages Kansans to take active part in public life for the common good. KLC Press publishes books on leadership and The Journal, a nationally recognized, award-winning civic issues magazine. Based in Wichita, KLC receives core funding from the Kansas Health Foundation.

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