“Our Time: Voices of Color in a State of Unrest”

Journalist Michele Norris will serve as keynote speaker at the UMKC Women of Color Conference

Journalist Michele Norris will discuss race in the wake of the Obama Presidency at the 2016 Women of Color Leadership Conference at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

The 11th Annual WOCLC “Our Time: Voices of Color in a State of Unrest,” beginning with 8 a.m. check-in, will be held at the Student Union, 5100 Cherry St., Kansas City, Mo. Registration is $60 and is open to the public.

The conference takes place from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with Norris speaking at 12:30 p.m. Four blocks of workshops, a continental breakfast and lunch during the keynote address make up the day. Also, vendors will showcase their wares during the conference

Described as “one of the most trusted voices in American journalism,” Norris published “The Grace of Silence: A Family Memoir” in 2010. The book focuses on how America talks about race since the election of Barack Obama and how “her own complex legacy has shaped her dedication to informing others through sound and voice.”

In the same year, Norris started “The Race Card Project” to help foster a candid conversation about race. She has more than two decades of journalism experience, having served as a former host and special correspondent for NPR, including a stint as co-host of NPR’s news magazine “All Things Considered,” public radio’s longest-running national program.

“We are proud to welcome the community to a conference designed to inspire and nurture the personal growth and careers of women of color,” said Susan B. Wilson, vice chancellor of the Division of Diversity & Inclusion. “As in past years, we have an excellent and well-respected speaker in Michele Norris. Her groundbreaking radio journalism in the area of race and diversity resonates with the experiences of many. The workshops led by women are designed to empower and motivate.”

Along with the keynote speaker, workshop facilitators will lead interesting and beneficial topics. Some of the sessions include:

Our Time: Pay Us the Same!

On average, women make 80 percent of what a man makes, but women of color make even less. Explore reasons why and gain resources to help you achieve equal pay. Find your voice, use resources shared in this session and get the pay you deserve.

Politically Savvy: Our Voice, Our Time

When it comes to seeking appointed or elected positions, women tend to wait to be asked or seek permission first. Join Councilwoman Alissia Canady, Senator S. Kiki Curls and Theresa A. Garza to learn how to leverage your transferable life skills for entrance into the political arena to achieve constituent support.

Strategic Visibility: From Community to Corporate Leadership

Women new to leadership roles or in mid-level career positions will learn how influential women in our city are gaining visibility strategically by leveraging community leadership opportunities. Panelists, including CiCi Rojas, president & CEO, Central Exchange, will discuss practical steps to turn fulfilling community roles, such as board service, into professional advancement.

Healthy or Heart Attack

Join Makini King, Ph.D., to learn the truth about our food, break down myths about popular diets and consider intensive dietary interventions rather than medication or surgical interventions to control, and possibly cure health problems.

Breaking Bread across Beliefs

Women who represent various beliefs, specifically Christianity, Islam, Paganism and Free Thought, come together on this panel to elevate participants’ awareness of spiritual diversity in our city and the need to understand, respect and advocate for each other.

A Networking Power Hour follows the workshops at 4:10 p.m. For a complete conference schedule and breakout sessions, visit Conference Schedule at a Glance on the Diversity and Inclusion website.

The Women of Color Leadership Conference is sponsored annually by the UMKC Division of Diversity & Inclusion. Free parking is available in the Cherry Street Parking Garage, 50th & Cherry Streets, on levels five and six only.


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