Faculty Diversity Dialogues

The Faculty Diversity Dialogues program is a faculty initiative that emerged from eighteen months of intense conversations about ways to engage faculty in dialogues around Diversity and Inclusion. The committee that developed the program was co-chaired by Professors Jennifer Santee and Fariha Shafi and included Professors James Benevides, Jennifer Hunter, Orisa Igwe, and Johanna Nilsson.

Our goal is to help improve our working environment by encouraging ALL faculty at UMKC to take responsibility for leading necessary conversations around race/ethnicity-based and sexuality/gender-based privilege and prejudice, invisible bias and microaggressions, inappropriate behavior, and critical language awareness, disability accommodations, and inclusive teaching practices.

2021-2022 Faculty Diversity Dialogue Schedule

2020-2021 Faculty Diversity Dialogue Schedule

  • February 18, 2021- 12-1:30pm

Topic: Moving Forward: Protest vs Insurrection & How to Sustain Social Change in the Post-Trump Era
Register in advance for this meeting: https://umsystem.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckduqtqD8sGdKmOskkua6jGu0XwEQBg2Lp

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • March 18, 2021- 12-1:30pm

Topic: Academic Freedom v. Cancel Culture: A Dialogue on Free Speech, Censorship, and Responsible Decision-Making in Higher Education
Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • May 6, 2021 – 12-1:30pm

Topic: Lessons Learned in Education Post-Covid: How Has Your Teaching Improved?
Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

2019-2020 Faculty Diversity Dialogue Schedule

  • Oct. 25th, 2019; Location – Health Sciences Building Room 4306 (Health Sciences campus);Topic: The Promotion and Tenure Experience for Faculty of Color; Panel – Associate Professor of Law  and Interim Director of the Black Studies Program Jamila Jefferson Jones and Curators’ Distinguished Professor of English Virginia Blanton
  • Nov. 14th, 2019; Location – FaCET – Miller-Nichols Library Room 225 (Volker campus); Topic: Generational Differences and Their Impact on the Classroom Experience; Presenter – Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology Joan McDowd
  • Dec. 5th, 2019; Location – Cherry Hall Room 115 (Volker campus); Topic – Campus Free Speech and Civil Discourse in the Classroom; Panelists – Sally Ellis-Fletcher, Associate Dean of Students for the School of Nursing and Health Studies, Associate Teaching Professor of History Rebecca Davis, Associate Professor of Law Mikah Thompson
  • February 6th, 2020; – Improving Allyship:  How to Accommodate the Mental Health and Disability Needs of My Students Loc: Health Science Building 4308, 12 Noon to 1pm
  • March 5th, 2020; – First Generation Students:  Teaching Unwritten Academic Codes, Professor Stephen Dilks, Department of English LocFACET Miller Nichols Library, 12 noon to 1pm
  • April 2nd, 2020 – Microaggressions: What are they and Why Should i care? Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Makini King & Lona Davenport, Loc:  Health Science Building 4308, 12 noon to 1pm
  • May 7th, 2020 – 2020 Elections: How to Moderate Political Conflict in the Classroom Loc: Diastole, 2501 Holmes St. Kansas City, MO 64108  Faculty Diversity Dialogues Fall 2020, 12 noon to 1pm.

2018-2019 Faculty Diversity Dialogues Schedule

What Should We Discuss in Faculty Diversity Dialogues?
Hosted by Dr. Stephen Dilks
Sept 27 at 12noon to 1:30pm (FaCET)
Sept 28 at 12noon to 1:30pm (HSB 4307 – with Zoom Videoconferencing)

International Engagement:
Foreign-Born Perspectives on Diversity and Inclusion
Oct. 18 at 12noon to 1:30pm (FaCET) with Dr. Omiunota Ukpokodu
Oct. 19 at 12noon to 1:30pm (HSB 4307 — Zoom) with Dr. Glenda Payne

Learning from the MU Protests
Hosted by Dr. Ben Trachtenberg (MU)
With special guest, Warren Frerichs (MSU)
Nov. 15 at 12noon to 2:00pm (Diastole Scholars’ Center – 2501 Holmes)

Retaining Under-served and Under-Represented Faculty and Students
Hosted by Clara Irazabal-Zurita.
December 6 at 12noon to 1:30pm (FaCET)
December 7 at 12noon to 1:30pm (HSB 4307 — Zoom)

Title IX Policies
Hosted by Sybil Wyatt
February 21 at 12noon to 1:30 pm (FaCET): 7 attendees February 22 at 12noon to 1:30pm (HSB)

Cultural Intelligence: What’s Your CQ? How Inclusive Are We? How do we engage with International students?
Hosted by Diana Tamer and Sally Ellis-Fletcher March 7 at 12 noon to 1:30pm at FaCET: 7 attendees March 8 at 12noon to 1pm at HSB

WHITENESS in Higher Education. April 11 at 12noon to 1:30 (FaCET — MNL 225): Facilitated by Rhiannon Dickerson and Makini King.

What Have We Learned/Done to improve the Climate at UMKC since the 2015 MU Protests? What might we do differently? May 10 at 12noon – 2:00pm (Diastole — 2501 Holmes Street Kansas City, Missouri 64108): Hosted by Stephen Dilks and students from UMKC’s SGA.


For questions or to reserve your spot and order lunch, contact Stephen Dilks at dilkss@umkc.edu.  Please communicate any dietary restrictions at this time.

This program is supported by the Office of the Provost, Division of Diversity and Inclusion, and Faculty Senate.
Help spread the word by sharing this schedule with your unit, department or office.