Women of Color Connection Day Empowers Young Women Across Kansas City

Annual event promotes education, equity and professional development

Over last eight years, hundreds of teenage girls from high schools across the greater Kansas City area have come to UMKC for the annual Women of Color Leadership Conference High School/Collegiate Connection Day hosted by the Division of Diversity and Inclusion. This half-day mini conference encourages connection, empowerment and, most of all, access to higher education.

An extension of the larger Women of Color Leadership Conference, which takes place every June, the connection day gives high school girls an opportunity to learn from professional and collegiate women of color across UMKC and the greater Kansas City community. Workshop presenters discuss topics related to self-esteem, personal branding, embracing your identity and more. Here’s a look back at the impact made at this year’s conference.

“Never in my life have I ever felt more EMPOWERED by the person I am and my background. I’ve never been more PROUD of the person I am and have never felt I mattered as much as I have today.” – Isabella

speaker at the WOC event
Keynote speaker Brittany Ferrell, Black Lives Matter activist and founder of Millennial Activists United, let the audience know that “you don’t have to have it all figured out.”  Photos by John Carmody, Strategic Marketing and Communications

“‘It’s okay not to be okay,’ taking in all of the wisdom from keynote speaker Brittany Ferrell at the Women of Color Leadership Conference. What a truly amazing talk.” – Trinity

workshop at the WOC event
UMKC students served as emcees and workshop presenters, speaking with high school students about navigating society in light of the #MeToo movement, the importance of personal branding, and the disadvantages of colorism.

“I loved today’s Women of Color Leadership Conference! So uplifting and powerful to see a room full of beautiful and successful black and brown women of all areas spreading awareness and self-love and change.” - Mari

students hugging
Kansas City schools who brought young women to the conference included Olathe Schools, University Academy, F. L. Schlagle High School, Grandview School District and many more. Several teachers and counselors attended as chaperones.

“The Women of Color Conference is always the highlight of my year. These young folks are beautiful, strong and making it happen! Chancellor’s Chief of Staff Kimiko Black Gilmore kicked us off with fire!” - Diane

Published: Mar 15, 2019

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