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UMKC Launches Roos Advocate for Community Change

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UMKC announced the creation of Roos Advocate for Community Change, a comprehensive effort to ensure that UMKC drives thoughtful action for change on our campus and in partnership with our greater Kansas City community.

These efforts will build on our campus work and on the strong, engaged relationships the university has with alumni, trustees, volunteers and community advisory boards.

Components of this effort include:

Professional Development. UMKC commits to provide training for all faculty and staff by year’s end to recognize and address microagressions and implicit bias. The Chancellor’s Executive Council and Deans will go first, and complete the training by the end of summer. Trainings on additional topics will follow.

Minority Student Leadership Task Force. The leaders of UMKC minority student organizations will come together to develop and address some of the most pressing questions for students. Their first meeting will be this week with a specific focus on issues related to our Black students.

Community Discussions Series. UMKC will convene regional leaders for some of the tough conversations our community needs to have about race. The first session, open to the public via Zoom, will be a July 8 panel discussion on Systemic Racism in the Workforce. Invitation coming soon. The series will continue monthly.

Recruiting and Retention Task Force. UMKC has instituted many policies and practices aimed at better recruiting and retaining minority faculty, staff and students. This group will review progress and practices to ensure that our campus is reflective of the Kansas City community. Are we seeing results? Are there additional improvements to be made?

Review of Policies. The Chancellor has initiated reviews of hiring and recruitment policies to ensure that they meet national standards and encourage diversity. Similarly, all policies and procedures of the UMKC Police Department are under review to ensure the highest standards.

Building and Scholarship Naming Task Force. This group will review and offer recommendations on building and scholarship naming practices, including evaluating the Miller Nichols Library name and context around the naming of the library.

In addition, work has begun on a UMKC Inventory of all the programs, initiatives and research that we have in place to aid and support our diverse communities. And we will establish a UMKC Virtual Resource Center, an outward-facing resource that our regional communities can access to help answer questions or solve challenges around diversity, equity and inclusion.

In a joint announcement by Chancellor Mauli Agrawal, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jenny Lundgren and Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion Susan B. Wilson, they said:

“This commitment of our amazing, diverse university family means we feel even more keenly the events of recent weeks. Those feelings must serve as a call to action to our collective conscience and a catalyst for change.”

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