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University Relations

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March 4, 2009
Contact: Mindie Paget, School of Law, (785) 864-9205.

‘Jana Mackey Day’ set to honor legacy of slain KU law student

Jana Mackey

LAWRENCE — A University of Kansas law student known throughout the state for her work on women’s issues will be honored posthumously this month.

Kansas lawmakers will join Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in marking International Women’s Day by recognizing Jana Mackey, a 25-year-old KU law student who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend last July in Lawrence. Sebelius has signed a proclamation recognizing Sunday, March 8, as “Jana Mackey Day in Kansas.”

On March 5, Sens. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, and Janis Lee, D-Kensington, will sponsor a resolution honoring Mackey. On the House side, Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence; Paul Davis, D-Lawrence; and Eber Phelps, D-Hays, will present Mackey’s family with a formal certificate on March 9.

Mackey, who grew up in Hays, spent countless hours volunteering to aid victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. She also served three years as one of the youngest lobbyists at the Kansas Statehouse with the National Organization for Women.

After her death, Mackey’s family and friends established a national campaign to help her service live on through others. Symbolic of the number of people who attended her funeral, the Eleven Hundred Torches campaign urges hundreds of ordinary citizens to serve others.

Sebelius has joined the campaign and is calling on all Kansans to set aside time March 8 to volunteer in their communities.

Special volunteer events are being planned in Lawrence and Hays on that day. Women’s Transitional Care Services in Lawrence has organized service projects from 1 to 4 p.m. March 8 behind the Douglas County United Way building, 2518 Ridge Court. Volunteers will be able to choose from several projects, including making parting baskets for women who are leaving the shelter, cleaning a storage shed and taking inventory and signing letters to legislators in support of continued funding for domestic violence shelters and programs. For more information, contact Eva Vlach at (785) 865-3956 or

International Women’s Day began in 1908 with a 15,000-woman march through New York City calling for equal voting and work rights for women. In 1913, the event was officially scheduled on March 8. Today International Women’s Day is celebrated worldwide and is an official holiday in 15 nations.

For more information about Eleven Hundred Torches, visit


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