Village Square to Host Events on American Justice

Dinner program is “The Impact of Incarceration”

The Kansas City Chapter of the Village Square will host a series of events on April 29: a luncheon, breakout session and dinner. Tickets for the events can be purchased online through April 22. UMKC students may register and attend at no cost.

The luncheon program, a “Race and Justice” panel, begins  at 11:30 a.m. in room 218,  Henry W. Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 5108 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.

Panelists for the luncheon are:

Toya Like-Haislip, Ph.D., UMKC associate professor, criminal justice and criminology, has served as an evaluator for numerous initiatives and programs focused on reducing violence.

Clancy Martin, Ph.D., UMKC professor, philosophy, conducts research on the intersection of philosophy and literature, with a focus on business ethics and moral psychology.

Eric Zahnd, Platte County prosecutor, has fought for more stringent penalties for child sex offenders, internet predators and drunk drivers. He earned the Charles M. Shaw Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.

David Bell, attorney at Wyrsch Hobbs Mirakian, practices federal, state and local criminal law.

Scott Helm, IPh.D., UMKC associate teaching professor, public affairs, will serve as moderator, with roving reporting by Ron Jones, KCUR.

A mid-day demonstration of a Living Room Conversation will be held in room 218, Bloch Executive Hall, beginning at 2:30 p.m. The discussion, led by the UMKC Student Government Association, will be on the social and economic implications of marijuana legalization.

The dinner program, “The Impact of Incarceration,” begins at 6 p.m. in room 401, UMKC Student Union, 5100 Cherry Street, Kansas City, Mo.

The panel features:

Joan Blades is founding partner of Living Room Conversations and co-founder of and She is trained as an attorney and mediator.

Nazgol Ghandnoosh, Ph.D., research analyst at the Sentencing Project, focuses on racial disparities in incarceration and trends in public opinion about punishment and sentencing policies.

Michael Gilbert, Ph.D., is executive director of the National Association of Community and Restorative Justice and professor at the University of Texas-San Antonio.

Former U.S. Ambassador Allan Katz will serve as moderator, with roving reporting by Nick Haines, KCPT.

The Village Square is a vehicle for civic engagement. The organization holds comfortable, casual forums and offers programming that brings people together for face-to-face interactions about polarizing issues facing local communities and the nation. The organizational goal is to engage in dialogue, build connections and seek understanding, even while disagreeing.

Each Village Square chapter has co-chairs from opposite sides of the political aisle. Filling those roles in Kansas City are Mary Bloch, a Democrat on the Missouri side of the state line, and Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn, a Republican from Kansas. In addition to the local Kansas City chapter, the national Village Square office has been established at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, with support from the Bloch Family Foundation.

For additional details and to register, visit the UMKC Alumni American Justice Luncheon website or the UMKC Alumni American Justice Dinner website. Information about the Kansas City chapter of the Village Square can be found at Village Square.


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