Mary Sanchez

Mary Sanchez

Born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., with family roots in Mexico, Mary Sanchez brings an uncommon perspective to the issues that tend to divide Americans into groups of “us” and “them.” A reporter foremost, Sanchez has spent years covering immigration, schools and other volatile beats for The Kansas City Star.

Now an editorial columnist for the Star, Sanchez understands that Latinos in the United States — now the largest minority group in the country — make up a number of diverse and complex communities. Sanchez knows that commentary on immigration, culture and politics needs to reflect that fact — the one-size-fits-all approach no longer works.



Across the United States, some Latinos are prospering and gaining political power, while others are running up against a changing mood in the American public. Making sense of all these currents requires more than just retelling stories or sharing of thoughts. It requires a reporter’s instinct for discovering how issues play out on the street, at work and in the lives of ordinary people.

Mary Sanchez strives for this cross-cultural analysis in her writing. She pushes readers to an understanding of the issues from all sides, and provides an incisive, compelling voice to illuminate these issues in new ways.


Recent Work

February 5, 2022
by Mary Sanchez
Why Clarence Thomas' Life Story Deserves Attention

A little grace please, a few moments to thoughtfully consider Clarence Thomas. It’s understandable if that ask revolts. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence... Read More

A little grace please, a few moments to thoughtfully consider Clarence Thomas. It’s understandable if that ask revolts. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gets little love. Mostly, the disdain is earned. He’s burnished his image as a calcitrant man who rose to the highest court by timing. He was... Read More

January 31, 2022
by Mary Sanchez
The Problem Isn’t Banned Books, Naughty Words or Wokeness. America is Dumbing Down.

The crux of America’s looming educational crisis is obvious and it has nothing to do with the books in the... Read More

The crux of America’s looming educational crisis is obvious and it has nothing to do with the books in the curriculum. The lesson is deep into the much-maligned transcript of a Tennessee school board’s discussion before unanimously voting to nix the Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel “Maus” from the... Read More

January 24, 2022
by Mary Sanchez
Rewarding Selfishness and Punishing Children in a Pandemic; What Will We Regret?

I consider myself forewarned. Nearly a year ago, a trusted source predicted that COVID-19 would have lasting repercussions on the... Read More

I consider myself forewarned. Nearly a year ago, a trusted source predicted that COVID-19 would have lasting repercussions on the world’s children. An educator, he spoke about how the impact would be felt not only on attendance but what that would mean, outlining dire ramifications on... Read More

January 15, 2022
by Mary Sanchez
Race in School: What Educators Know and Politicians Should Learn

The Kansas City School District is now fully accredited by the state, the first time since 2000. It’s been a long... Read More

The Kansas City School District is now fully accredited by the state, the first time since 2000. It’s been a long arduous journey and officials concede that the hill is barely crested. On the day the announcement was made, the district’s leadership drove two hours to mid-Missouri to... Read More

December 12, 2021
by Mary Sanchez
Antisemitism in America: ‘Now Is the Time to Avoid Hyperbole’

In late October, Jewish Americans saw the release of a report confirming what many intrinsically felt and feared. Antisemitism is... Read More

In late October, Jewish Americans saw the release of a report confirming what many intrinsically felt and feared. Antisemitism is on the rise. One in four American Jews said they'd been targeted by antisemitism during the past year. Four out of every 10 changed their behavior,... Read More

November 9, 2021
by Mary Sanchez
Two Missouri Inmates, Two Tales of Justice Delayed

Once an innocent person is entangled in the criminal justice system, it’s damningly difficult to wrench them free. The public... Read More

Once an innocent person is entangled in the criminal justice system, it’s damningly difficult to wrench them free. The public is only vaguely aware of this. After all, that’s the point. Someone sentenced to prison is out of the public eye. Out of sight, out of... Read More

October 1, 2021
by Mary Sanchez
The Hypocrisy of the Abortion Access Debate

Through more than five hours of testimony, the Congressional hearing on the nation’s ever-decreasing access to abortion showcased a lot... Read More

Through more than five hours of testimony, the Congressional hearing on the nation’s ever-decreasing access to abortion showcased a lot of erroneous thinking. There were twisted interpretations of eugenic's history, a flimsy albeit adamant concern specific to abortions in the Black community, a Pollyanna belief that... Read More

August 8, 2021
by Mary Sanchez
Olympics 2020 is Giving Female Athletes Respect They Long Deserved

“Flo-Jo” won’t get out of my head. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the trials that led up to it, have... Read More

“Flo-Jo” won’t get out of my head. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the trials that led up to it, have been a ritual of replayed taped events, and the occasional, live event watched at sleep-deprivation hours. Each female athlete’s performance, their achievements on the track and... Read More

July 9, 2021
by Mary Sanchez
Time to Admit What we Know About the Death Penalty and who Receives it

His mother began drinking as a ten-year-old. Her prepubescent cocktail of choice was half beer and half soda. As a... Read More

His mother began drinking as a ten-year-old. Her prepubescent cocktail of choice was half beer and half soda. As a young teen out partying with the man who’d father her children, she drank pints of gin and whiskey. Jean Ann Patton was an addict who drank... Read More

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