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UMKC’s Men of Color Campus Initiative Begins INSIGHT: The Speaker Series

John W. Bluford, III will share his story

The Men of Color Campus Initiative at the University of Missouri-Kansas City will host John W. Bluford, III for its INSIGHT: The Speaker Series from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16 at the UMKC Student Union, room 401BC.

Bluford, the president emeritus of Truman Medical Centers, is a nationally-known healthcare innovator who has been recognized as one of the Most Influential People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare Magazine and Becker’s Hospital Review, two of the nation’s leading healthcare industry publications.

INSIGHT: The Speaker Series was created to highlight the successes of local and national community leaders in an effort to expose our students, particularly men of color, to credible, yet accessible role models. The series’ speakers offer life lessons, valuable insights and practical knowledge that result in promising opportunities for our students.

“At UMKC, we strive to develop students who go on, not only to successful careers, but to successful lives. We are invested in the idea of cultivating thoughtful and intelligent community problem solvers,” said Smith, Men of Color Campus Initiative’s founder and adviser. “Our speaker series brings transformative trailblazers and thought leaders, not only to our campus, but to the greater Kansas City community as well,” said Smith.

Admission to the event is free but reservations are encouraged. For reservations, contact Rodney Smith.

Bluford has served as chairman of the American Hospital Association Board of Trustees, the National Association of Public Hospitals and the Missouri Hospital Association. Locally, Bluford has served as past chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and currently sits on the UMKC Board of Trustees, the Urban Neighborhood Initiative Board and advises several national healthcare companies. Among Bluford’s many accomplishments, his work to transform Truman Medical Centers into a first-rate healthcare facility for patients, healthcare professionals and community partners is perhaps his most impressive achievement.

About the Men of Color Campus Initiative

The Men of Color Campus Initiative fosters a sense of community among students by aligning various academic, social and cultural resources throughout the campus and community. The program consists of a team of scholars, practitioners, community leaders, alumni and students devoted to improving the educational experiences and life trajectory for male students of color. The program aspires to identify and promote practical solutions, sound research and effective programming in its aim:

  • To create an atmosphere of unity for men of color on campus
  • To promote positive images of men of color
  • To support students in achieving their educational goals while striving for academic excellence and cultural awareness
  • To increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates for men of color at UMKC

For more information about the Men of Color Campus Initiative or INSIGHT: The Speaker Series, call Dr. Rodney D. Smith at (816) 235-1167.


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