UMKC Hosts Critical Conversations Series

Town halls about systemic racism
UMKC Critical Conversations Series

The University of Missouri-Kansas City Division of Diversity and Inclusion hosts a series of critical conversations addressing systemic racism in the United States.

UMKC people are taking thoughtful action on campus and in our community to ensure lasting and comprehensive reform through Roos Advocate for Community Change, a campus-wide effort announced in June following the death of George Floyd.

Critical Conversations are part of that initiative. The panel discussions are in a Zoom town hall-format and feature UMKC faculty, staff, students and volunteer leaders who represent the topic being discussed. The sessions are free and open to the community at-large, but pre-registration is required online.

The goal of each discussion is to enlighten, educate and explore the causes and potential cures for racism. Further, the university will strive to share actionable steps that can be used to improve racial interactions in the broader community. For more information, please email umkcchancellor@umkc.edu.

Critical Conversations Series

Sixth session, Oct. 7: A Dialogue Among Women of Color and White Women in Higher Education

Panelists included: Karen Lee Ashcraft, professor, College of Media, Communication, and Information at University of Colorado Boulder; Karen L. Dace, vice chancellor, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Lona Davenport (co-moderator), senior diversity program coordinator, UMKC Division of Diversity and Inclusion; Christine Grant, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, former associate dean of faculty advancement, North Carolina State University; Jennifer Laflam, professor and director of Center for Teaching and Learning at American River College; Tamica Lige (co-moderator), program coordinator, Students Training in Academia, Health, and Research (STAHR); Shani Barrax Moore, director of diversity and inclusion, University of North Texas; Julia Vargas, director, Center for Service Learning, Rockhurst University.

Fifth session, Oct. 5: The Future of Policing in Kansas City, A Conversation with Mayor Quinton Lucas

Participants included: Mayor Quinton Lucas; Brandon Henderson, president of the UMKC Student Government Assocation; Ken Novak, professor in the UMKC Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; Gary O'Bannon (moderator), executive-in-residence, Henry W. Bloch School of Management. Hosted by the UMKC Student Government Association.

Fourth session, Sept. 17: The Color of Money, Racism in Finance

Panelists included: Ruben Alonso, president, AltCap; Victor Hammonds, director of small business banking, 1st National Bank of Omaha; Nathan Mauck, associate professor of finanace, Henry W. Bloch School of Management; Gary O'Bannon (co-moderator), executive-in-residence, Henry W. Bloch School of Management; Nick Richmond, president and CEO, Kansas City Credit Union; Lisa Uhrmacher (co-moderator), IoT and analytics practice lead, Atos. 

Third session, Aug. 27: The Future of Policing, Part 2

Panelists included: Gwendolyn Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City; Ronald Lindsay, pastor of the Concord Fortress of Hope Church; Ken Novak, professor in the UMKC Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; Deputy Chief Karl Oakman, Kansas City, Missouri Police; Gary O'Bannon (co-moderator), executive-in-residence, Henry W. Bloch School of Management; Cynthia L. Short, trial lawyer, mitigation specialist and sentencing advocate; Jasmine Ward (co-moderator) third-year student at the UMKC School of Law.

Second session, July 30: The Future of Policing, Part 1

Panelists included: Jean Peters Baker, Jackson County prosecutor; Emanuel Cleaver III, senior pastor of St. James United Methodist Church; Damon Daniel, president of the AdHoc Group Against Crime; Toya Like, associate professor, UMKC Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology; Gary O'Bannon (co-moderator),executive-in-residence, Henry W. Bloch School of Management and former Director of Human Resources, City of Kansas City, Mo.; Jasmine Ward (co-moderator), third-year student at the UMKC School of Law.

First session, July 8: Systemic Racism in the Workforce 

Panelists included: Clyde McQueen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Full Employment Council; Uzo Nwonwu, Corporate Legal Counsel, UMB Bank; Jeffrey J. Simon, Office Managing Partner, Husch Blackwell LLP; A'yanna Tomlin, UMKC student, studying Business Administration; Gary O'Bannon (moderator), executive-in-residence, Henry W. Bloch School of Management and former Director of Human Resources, City of Kansas City, Mo. 

Published: Jun 29, 2020