Our Bias Education & Support Team (BEST) works to complement UMKC’s efforts to maintain an inclusive culture of caring and to meet the goals we have set forth in our Strategic Plan (link):
- Building a human-centric learning and discovery community
- Fostering equity, diversity, and inclusion to enrich the lives of our faculty, staff, and students and the communities we serve
- Developing a strong shared sense of belonging among our stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni
BEST serves our stakeholders through two divisions:
The BEST Advisory Committee meets quarterly and as needed to review aggregate trends in perceived bias incidents and to provide recommendations to UMKC Leadership (link) meant to address identified issues. The BAC will also produce an annual report and disseminate it publicly for review by our campus community. The BAC has been incorporated into the work of the Chancellor’s Diversity Council (link), led by Dr. Susan Wilson, Vice Chancellor of the Division of Diversity and Inclusion (link). Membership of the Diversity Council includes representatives from the Student Government Association, Office of Multicultural Student Affairs, Student Disability Services, Staff Council, Faculty Senate, Human Resources, Office of Affirmative Action, and a number of other departments and schools across campus. Additionally, members also include community representatives from various councils and boards, including the Hispanic Advisory Board, Chancellor’s LGBT Council, and African American Leadership Council.
BEST Roo Responders are available to provide support, guidance, and resource referrals to those individuals or groups that have experienced or witnessed expressions of perceived bias. Roo Responders are trained volunteers with an evidenced commitment to diversity and inclusion. If you are interested in becoming a Roo Responder, visit BEST Roo Responders (link).
BEST also strives to educate the individuals and groups identified as having expressed bias by providing notice of reports received, sharing educational resources on inclusive expression, and offering opportunities to discuss the reports in more detail.