Dr. Micah W. Kubic has won national and international acclaim as a civil rights leader, activist for social change, award-winning author, movement builder, scholar, and speaker.
For twenty four years, Micah has championed the causes of liberty, justice, equality, and upholding human dignity. Heralded by the Kansas City Star as someone for whom "getting things done is his way of life" (Star, 6/13/01), Micah is respected in equal measure for his deep commitment to justice, ability to develop compelling visions, and capacity for implementing innovative, effective, and transformative programming.
Micah has worked with some of the globe's leading thinkers, activists, and policy-makers to help achieve a just society - one where equal opportunity is not a dream but a reality, where we truly live the values that we claim to share, where all people can live lives free of fear and discrimination, and where every person's voice is heard in true democratic fashion.
Working in- and outside of government, Micah has successfully partnered with community leaders and organizations to make public policy more responsive to those who too often go unheard or unminded. Micah believes that the only way we can build just and vibrant communities is by affirming the agency of every person and building the power of people.
Activist and Movement Builder
Micah is currently the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Kansas. An affiliate of the national American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Kansas is a statewide organization dedicated to preserving and advancing the civil rights and legal freedoms guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As Executive Director, Micah leads the work of one of the largest advocacy organizations in Kansas - a state that is on the front lines of the movement for civil rights in America. Micah leads a professional staff of 16 and thousands of volunteer activists across the state. Micah rejoined the ACLU of Kansas as its executive director in January 2022, having previously served in the same role from 2015 to 2018.
Prior to returning to the ACLU of Kansas, Micah was the executive director of the ACLU affiliate in Florida. There, he led one of the largest ACLUs in the country, with a professional staff of 55 and more than 100,000 supporters across Florida. Under Micah's leadership, the ACLU of Florida broke new ground in defending voting rights, reforming the broken criminal justice system, and standing up for the rights of immigrants. Micah implemented an innovative model of integrated advocacy that seeks to build a true, mass-based movement for civil liberties, with work in the courts, in legislatures, and in communities.
During the four years he led the ACLU of Kansas before leaving for Florida, he led an organizational turnaround that grew the professional staff from 3 to 15, making it the largest advocacy organization in the state at the time. Micah's leadership transformed an annual structural deficit of $350,000 into a surplus of over $500,000, grew the annual budget from $500,000 to $1.4 million, expanded the ACLU of Kansas's statewide reach (including opening a satellite office in Wichita), and refocused the organization's work onto three core campaigns. As a result of this organizational transformation, the ACLU of Kansas engaged in groundbreaking, nationally-recognized work. Successes included litigation that defeated the most restrictive law on voter registration in the country, adoption of a "ban the box" executive order at the statewide level, defelonization of some drug crimes, and preserving in-state college tuition for undocumented students. All of these civil rights victories were achieved in one of the most hostile political environments in the country.
Before his career with the ACLU, Micah was a nationally recognized leader in the community development field. His experience in community development includes service as the Director of Planning, Development, and Evaluation at the Full Employment Council in Kansas City, Missouri. The Full Employment Council is a business-led, private, nonprofit corporation whose mission is to obtain public and private sector employment for the unemployed and underemployed residents of the Greater Kansas City area. As Director of Planning, MIcah led the organization's planning, research, evaluation, technical assistance, community engagement, resource development, and data management functions.
Prior to joining the Full Employment Council, Micah was a Senior Program Officer with Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Kansas City site of the nation's largest community development organization. There, he was responsible for directing the organization's programmatic investments. At LISC, Micah worked directly with struggling urban neighborhoods to help them achieve their visions of safe, clean, and economically viable communities. He administered a grant portfolio of more than $2.4 million, providing financial and other resources for the comprehensive transformation of seven targeted neighborhoods.
Micah provided advanced capacity-building assistance to dozens of local non-profit organizations partnered with LISC, on subjects as diverse as financial management, human resources, program development and evaluation, and community engagement. In addition, Micah managed Greater Kansas City LISC's Community Safety Initiative. This innovative program links local law enforcement agencies with community development partners to collaboratively reduce crime and disorder in urban neighborhoods. He played a critical role in the emergence of a new multi-agency initiative to combat violent crime in Jackson County. Other accomplishments at LISC include steering seven neighborhood-wide strategic plans to completion, helping to form a strategic alliance of agencies and civil society groups in Kansas City's Northeast, the creation of a sophisticated data-driven model of program evaluation.
Public Policy Expert
Micah gained a broad and deep understanding of municipal policy and government while serving from 1999 to 2007 as the Legislative Director for former Kansas City, Missouri Councilman Troy Nash. Nash served as chair of the influential Planning, Zoning, and Economic Development Committee, and Micah coordinated the office's oversight of nearly $6 billion in new economic development. Micah's other portfolios in the office included labor relations, urban economic development, neighborhood services, and race relations. As the office's top administrator, he was responsible for all of its daily operations, including supervising staff responsible for delivering quality constituent services to more than 450,000 Kansas Citians.
Outside of city government, Micah has worked at the highly-respected Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, DC-based think tank that focuses on fiscal issues and the impacts of public policy on low- and moderate-income people. Micah worked in the Center's housing program, focusing on issues related to public housing, Section 8 vouchers, community development, and the federal government's "Section 3" requirements to extend economic opportunity through housing investment. He was the co-author of a landmark paper, published by the Center in 2009, on strategies for strengthening the implementation of Section 3. Thanks to his work at the Center - and the key role he played in creating one of the nation's few successful local Section 3 programs, in Kansas City - Micah is a nationally-recognized expert on Section 3.
Micah also worked for the office of the president of the American Federation of Teachers, researching federal education policy. In that capacity, he was the co-author of three academic studies on the efficacy and fairness of the No Child Left Behind Act. These studies were utilized by the union in its efforts to craft a fairer alternative.
In addition to his work on public policy, Micah has sought to promote a just society through civic movements and the electoral system. He is a respected and seasoned campaign operative, with special expertise in the creation of large-scale media campaigns. Since volunteering on a campaign for the first time at age 15, he has held roles both large and small in more than a dozen political campaigns. These include work for former Kansas City mayor Kay Barnes, the presidential campaigns of Bill Bradley and Dick Gephardt, and a host of races for state and local office.
From 2006 to 2007, he was Director of Communications, Policy, and Research for a major Kansas City mayoral candidate. He was one of the campaign's primary strategists and its first staffer, responsible for establishing the foundations of a major campaign with a budget in excess of $300,000. A keen interpreter of voting behavior and electoral analyst, Micah developed and implemented a voter contact strategy, produced a 40-page platform, developed campaign advertising for radio and newspaper, and created a 100,000+ piece direct mail campaign that received rave reviews. In 2011, he served as a lead consultant to another major mayoral campaign. He was charged with developing the campaign's innovative policy platform, coordinating outreach to racial and ethnic constituency groups, and creating a 100,000+ piece direct mail campaign.
Scholar and Educator
Micah is also a scholar and educator, whose primary academic field is African American politics; his work in the field has garnered recognition for its innovative and hopeful approach. Micah has devoted extensive attention to the emergence of Black political movements at the local level and the importance of institution-building to the advancement of Black interests. Micah has presented his scholarly work at conferences around the country and has published repeatedly in respected, peer-reviewed academic journals. His first book, Freedom, Inc. and Black Political Empowerment, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2016. In 2017, the book won the prestigious Eagleton-Waters Book Award, granted by the State Historical Society of Missouri for the best book on Missouri political history. In addition, Micah has served as a historical consultant and advisor on projects related to Black politics and history.
Thanks to a deep faith in the transformative power of education, Micah is also an educator. He has taught Black Politics at Howard University and summer programs for young adults. Through the Truman Scholarship Foundation, Micah has served as a mentor and advisor to young adults pursuing careers in public service.
An accomplished and dynamic public speaker, Micah makes more than one hundred presentations each year to public bodies, schools, churches, non-profits, neighborhood associations, youth groups, and conferences. He addresses audiences of all ages on subjects as diverse as non-profit management, organizational capacity-building, community building, race relations, African American politics, public policy, and strategies for educational/professional success. Micah also regularly preaches Sunday sermons at local churches.
Micah credits his passion for racial justice and improving the quality of life in urban neighborhoods to a lifetime of involvement in those neighborhoods. For the first eight years of his education, Micah participated in the Kansas City, Missouri School District's voluntary desegregation program. He was bussed from the suburbs into an inner city school, where he was one of only a handful of white students. The school was a full-immersion foreign language magnet school, where all of his instruction was in German.
A respected leader in the community, Micah actively participates in dozens of civic and charitable organizations, including serving on numerous boards of directors. From 2008 to 2016, Micah was a member of the worldwide board of directors of People to People. The organization was founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to advance "peace through understanding." In 2013, he was elected chairman of the board, the youngest person to ever serve in that office. The organization has a global membership of over 40,000, touches 80,000 families each year, has a presence in more than 100 countries, and has an annual budget of over $4 million. Through People to People International, he had the opportunity to travel to Australia, Belgium, China, Cuba, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
Dr. Micah Kubic's unique ability to manage organizations, implement large-scale programs, address the needs of people of all backgrounds, develop long-range vision, and advocate with fiery passion have been noted by many. As a result, he has been featured in countless television, print, and radio news stories. He has been featured in every major media outlet in the Kansas City and Florida markets, as well as in the New York Times and USA Today. During his senior year in college, he was named one of the country's top eighty college students by USA Today. Micah has been honored with awards from the State of Missouri, Executive Women International, People to People International, the American Legion, the Northland Community Foundation, the Washington Crossing Foundation, Jewish Women International, the Teen HIP Foundation, and the Congressional Awards Foundation, among many others. Both the City of Kansas City, Missouri and Clay County, Missouri have declared a "Micah Wade Kubic Day" in his honor.
Micah holds a doctorate in political science (with concentrations in Black politics and public administration) from Washington, DC's historic Howard University. A member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha academic honor societies, he also holds a master's degree in political science (with a concentration in Black politics) from Howard University. Upon earning his master's degree, Micah was named one of four candidates exemplar, the highest academic award Howard confers on graduate students. He is a summa cum laude 2005 graduate of the George Washington University, where he earned bachelor's degrees in political science and international relations with a concentration in African studies. In 2004, he was a recipient of the prestigious Truman Scholarship, the country's highest academic award for public service.
Micah is married to the love of his life, Schylon Kubic. They have a son. They live in the greater Kansas City area.