Meet Farris!

Dr. Muhammad is responsible for partnering with City leadership, community organizations, and community members to create an equity framework, explore national best practices, and facilitate courageous conversations that results in the development and adoption of equity as a shared value.  He serves as the technical expert in applying an equity lens to citywide policies, progress indicators, practices, and budget decisions with an overall vision to make Lawrence an equitable community of choice for all.

Dr. Farris Muhammad, born and raised in Detroit, is the Inaugural Director of Equity and Inclusion for the City of Lawrence. Prior to this appointment, he was the founding Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer with the City of Peoria, Illinois. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of the Multicultural Family Center with the City of Dubuque, Iowa, and as an Adjunct Sociology Professor at the University of Dubuque.

With over 15 years of experience as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practitioner, he has conducted implicit and explicit bias trainings for colleges & universities, governmental entities, school districts, non-profits, and fortune 500 companies. Regarding educational credentials, below are a few degrees and certifications he has earned.

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    •  University of Georgia
    • UGA Graduate Certification
      • Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
    • Eastern Michigan University
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
    •  Northwood University
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate
    • University of South Florida

Two Fun Facts:

  1. Farris the 5th child out of nine.
  2. Farris enjoys traveling!


Meet Kalenna!

Mrs. Kalenna Coleman, born in Kansas City, MO and raised in Kansas City, KS, is the Organizational Equity Coordinator for the City of Lawrence. Kalenna has an extensive background in public administration. Prior to being an equity advocate for the City of Lawrence, she worked for many other governmental entities throughout the State of Kansas for the previous 13 years. She has worked for state government managing contracts and procurement, county government advancing environmental equity and sustainability, and local government as a juvenile detention officer during her professional career.

As the Organizational Equity Coordinator, Kalenna is responsible for focusing on equity and inclusion efforts and initiatives throughout the organization. As the Organizational Equity Coordinator, Kalenna is also responsible for monitoring and providing technical assistance, across the organization for the equity and inclusion progress indicators that are embedded in the City’s Strategic Plan.

Regarding educational, below are degrees she has earned.

  • Master of Science (M.Sc.)
    • Webster University
    • Environmental Management
  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
    • University of Missouri – Columbia
    • Interdisciplinary Studies: Biology & Business

Two Fun Facts:

  1. Kalenna’s favorite vacation destination is the Island of Maui, Hawaii.
  2. Kalenna enjoys eating out at new restaurants.