Critical Conversations Series Continues

The Division of Diversity and Inclusion will continue to host a series addressing systemic racism in the U.S.
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The Critical Conversations series will continue this year.

The series is part of the thoughtful action our community is taking to ensure lasting and comprehensive reform through Roos Advocate for Community Change, a campus-wide effort announced in June 2020 following the death of George Floyd.

Last year’s panel discussions were in a Zoom town hall format and featured UMKC faculty, staff, students and volunteer leaders who represent the topic being discussed. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the sessions will remain virtual until further notice.

Each discussion aims 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

Upcoming Session:

The next session of Critical Conversations has not yet been announced. Check back here for the latest updates on the series.

Critical Conversations Series:

Tenth Session, Nov. 16: COVID, Vaccinations and (Mis)Information in Communities of Color

Panelists included: Qiana Thomason, President and CEO of Health Forward Foundation; Dr. Liset Olarte, Divison of Infectious Disease at Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas City; Jannette Berkely-Patton, professor at UMKC Biomedical/Health Informatics and Frank Thompson, interim Director of Health at the Kansas City Health Department. Gary O'Bannon, executive in-house residence, UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management, was the moderator.

Ninth Session, Sept. 9: The Role of Antiracism Work and Healing in Museums

Panelists included: Rashida Phillips, executive director, American Jazz Museum; Julian Zugazahoitia, director and CEO, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Glenn North, executive director, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center; Matthew Naylor, president and CEO, National World War 1 Museum and Memorial; and Anna Marie Tutera, director, Kansas City Museum. Gary O'Bannon, executive-in-resident, UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management, was the moderator.

Critical Conversations from 2020-21:

To see a complete list of the first eight sessions, click here.

Published: Aug 31, 2021

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