Kansas City, Missouri, Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw has made history. She has become the first Black woman appointed Mayor Pro Tem in the city’s history.

“I am proud to announce Councilwoman Ryana Parks-Shaw will serve as Mayor Pro Tem for the 2023-2027 Kansas City Council term, increasing representation for not only South Kansas City but for all folks who have for too long felt underrepresented within government leadership ranks — particularly Black women,” KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said in a news release.

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Lucas praised Parks-Shaw for her continuous dedication to KC.

“I know Councilwoman Parks-Shaw as someone who is passionate and relentless in her efforts to address our community’s toughest issues, and I know she will bring the same vigor to the role of Mayor Pro Tem,” Lucas said.

Park-Shaw will step in as mayor and facilitate city council meetings whenever Lucas is unable to preside over the meetings.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as Mayor Pro Tem,” 5th District Councilwoman Parks-Shaw said. “As the first African American female Mayor Pro Tem of Kansas City, I appreciate the opportunity to serve our city and make a positive impact. I am committed to working with my colleagues to represent all residents and work tirelessly to bring about positive change. Together, we can build a more inclusive and equitable future.”

About Ryana Parks-Shaw

According to KSHB, Parks-Shaw graduated from Ruskin High School and earned her B.S. from Missouri State University. She later received a M.S. from Southwest Baptist University.

In her first council term, Parks-Shaw focused on issues such as homelessness and affordable housing. She also acted as the driving force for providing funding for violence prevention. Parks-Shaw works as an executive in the healthcare industry when not serving on the council. In her bio on the city’s website, she talked about how her sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the Greater Kansas City Chapter of the Links, Inc., both motivate her.

Parks-Shaw is also a member of the Kansas City Zoo Board of Directors and the Starlight Board of Directors.