Wendo Kimori


Wendo Kimori is a senior at Lawrence Free State High School, in Lawrence, Kansas. Wendo began her pursuit of racial equity by working as a student school board member and joining her Superintendent's Student Advisory Council, where she provides crucial student insight on various ideas presented to the school board. She is one of two students on her district's Equity Advisory Council, where she helps identify and correct district and school policies, procedures and practices that perpetuate racial achievement disparities. Upon entering her senior year, Wendo realized that many students felt disempowered to act upon their own ideas to promote racial equity, and didn’t know where to start. In order to address this, Wendo spearheaded the formation of Lawrence's NAACP Youth Council, where she is the founder and president. The council serves as ground zero for Lawrence youth to act on their ideas to advance race relations and promote racial equity in schools and throughout the community. The council provides resources in the forms of community partnerships, fundraising, mentorship and various social media platforms to help make these ideas come to life. From January to March of 2023, Wendo and the Youth Council visited local elementary schools and read books written by Black authors about prevalent Black civil rights leaders to educate young children on the history of racial inequity in America. The children completed craft activities and lesson plans designed by members of the youth council, which gave hundreds of elementary schoolers a positive, thought-provoking first experience with learning about the civil rights journey in America. In February of 2023, Wendo organized a chili feed targeting those experiencing food insecurity in her city, an issue which disproportionately affects Black communities at higher rates. Wendo partnered with local grocery stores and a local community kitchen to gather donations and have a space to prepare the food. Together, the Youth Council was able to donate 300+ chili meals and snack bags to those in need. Establishing this Youth Council has helped increase membership for the Lawrence NAACP Branch. Having a group specifically for youth has been transformative for the longevity of the NAACP, and also gives Lawrence youth an organized forum for promoting civic engagement with regard to race relations.