Office of the

Explore Our Initiatives

Roo Advocates

Roo Advocates are members of a chancellor-appointed working group who are responsible for generating, implementing and supporting efforts that position UMKC as a resource for Black and other persons of color. Comprised of Executive Council members, this group ensures that UMKC students, faculty and staff are being heard and engaged in discussions and actions that improve the quality of life on campus.

  • Dr. Makini King, Chair, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Lisa Baronio, UMKC Foundation
  • Jannette Berkley-Patton, School of Medicine
  • Lona Davenport, Division of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Yvonne Hood, Division of Diversity and Inclusion
  • Kimberly Johnson, MSA
  • Brandon Martin, Athletics
  • Maria Meyers, Innovation Center
  • Ivan Ramirez, MSA

Black Student Leadership Task Force

The leaders of the UMKC Black Student Leaders Task Force meet to develop and address some the of the most pressing questions for students. The mission of the task force is to evaluate, improve, and develop programs and  procedures  to  enrich  the  experiences  of  Black  students at UMKC.

  • Nabil Abas, Co-Chair
  • Keichanda Dees-Burnett, Advisor
  • Kimberly Johnson, Advisor
  • Brandon Martin, Advisor
  • A’yanna Tomlin, Co-Chair
  • Brandy Williams

Building and Scholarship Naming Task Force

This group will review and offer recommendations on building and scholarship naming practices, including evaluating the Miller Nichols Library name and the context around the naming of the library.

  • Dr. Makini King, Chair
  • Jennifer Ingraham
  • Yvonne Hood
  • Sandy Rodriguez
  • Cindy Thompson
  • A’yanna Tomlin
  • Brandy Williams

Digital Equity Working Group

The purpose of UMKC Digital Equity Working Group is to engage actively through teaching, research, service and convening with local government and diverse community stakeholders to advocate for digital inclusion and equity in affordable access to high-speed internet, devices to use it, and educational and training opportunities to promote its adoption and use.

  • Tony Luppino, Chair
  • Nate Addington
  • Carolyn Barber
  • Brian Boots
  • Tamara Clark Sykes
  • Carrie Coogan
  • Aaron Deacon
  • Carmen DeHart
  • Abigail Eccher
  • Tom Esselman
  • Gabriel Fumero
  • Andy Goodenow
  • Gwen Grant
  • Amanda Graor
  • Clara Irazabal-Zurita
  • Troy Lillebo
  • Davon Mansaw
  • Harrison May
  • Ina Montgomery
  • Brent Never
  • Dina Newman
  • Mikah Thompson
  • Rick Usher
  • William Wells
  • Jauqua Wilkins
  • Jordan Williams

Latino Experience Working Group

The Latinx Experience Working Group will initially be charged with tackling the concerns expressed during the Latinx Student Experience Forum held on July 30, 2020.

These concerns were further articulated by Latino student representatives who met with Chancellor Agrawal and others on August 28, 2020:

  • Strengthen UMKC/Hispanic Development Fund PartnershipoScholarships
  • University support for Cambio para Cambio Fundraiser Competition
  • Recruitment and Retention of Latino Student, Faculty and Staff
  • Outreach/recruitment eventsoExplore reviving scholarship breakfast
  • Better exposure for Race, Ethnic and Gender Studies (REGS) Department
We anticipate that the scope of the group will broaden as the work evolves and other issues are discovered.

Faculty and Staff

  • Melanie Arroyo Perez
  • Sally Ellis Fletcher
  • Ricardo Marte
  • Uzziel Pecina
  • Ivan Ramirez (Chair)
  • Arselyn (Arzie) Umail
  • Alberto Villamandos


  • Daniel Roman-Garcia
  • Julio Gracida
  • Victor Michimani
  • Daisy Garcia Montoya
  • Lauren-Lolis Orozo

Professional Development

UMKC commits to providing training for all faculty and staff by the end of 2020 to recognize and address microagressions and implicit bias. Trainings on additional topics will follow.

Recruiting and Retention Task Force

UMKC has instituted many policies and practices aimed at better recruiting and retaining minority faculty, staff and students. This group will review progress and practices to ensure that our campus is reflective of the Kansas City community.

  • Jenny Lundgren, Chair
  • Diane Filion
  • Susan Hankins
  • Roland Hemmings Jr.
  • Kelli Limpic
  • Sandy Rodriguez

Review of Policies

The chancellor has initiated reviews of hiring and recruitment policies to ensure that they meet national standards and encourage diversity. Similarly, all policies and procedures of the UMKC Police Department are under review to ensure the highest standards.

  • Carol Hintz, Chair
  • Sharon Lindenbaum, Chair

Troost to Prospect Partnerships

Uniquely situated to be a resource for those in the urban core, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is identifying and implementing community engagement strategies, especially in partnership with our neighbors along the Troost to Prospect corridor. To do so, UMKC will seek ways to link neighbors to leverage growth, spotlight and support small businesses and community-based organizations and continue to collaborate with our Troost to Prospect neighbors on issues of importance to the community.

  • Maria Meyers, Chair
  • Jannete Berkley-Patton, Chair
  • Nate Addington
  • Collaborators:
    • Paul Tosh
    • Ye wang
    • Daniel Smith, The Porter House

UMKC Inventory/Community Connect

We are taking stock of all the programs, initiatives and research that we have in place to aid and support our diverse communities.

  • Kimberly Johnson, Chair
  • Nate Addington
  • Jannette Berkley-Patton
  • Carole Bowe-Thompson
  • Virginia (Dee) Evans
  • Jenny Miller
  • Dina Newman
  • Alexis Petri

Virtual Resource Center

This is a much-needed, comprehensive resource the Greater Kansas City community can use to help answer questions or solve challenges around diversity, equity and inclusion.

View virtual resource center

  • Kimberly Johnson, Chair
  • Jannette Berkley-Patton
  • Tracy Hughes
  • Tony Luppino
  • Maria Meyers
  • Brent Never
  • Dina Newman
  • Cindy Thompson
  • Jennifer Waddell