Our community and nation are in a moment of racial crisis, pain, and long-overdue reckoning. At UMKC, we are leading thoughtful action on campus and in our community to ensure lasting and comprehensive change through Roos Advocate for Community Change. This effort is comprehensive, with intensive work on campus and in the community and engaging our strong relationships with alumni, trustees, volunteers, and community advisory boards.
UMKC aspires to be a place where all individuals are valued for their unique contributions to our community of learning, regardless of race, social or cultural identities. This is written into our mission, vision, and values. Additionally, we place a high priority on diversity — Pillar Four of our Strategic Plan is to “foster an environment of invigorating multiculturalism, globalism, diversity, and inclusion. Finally, our Inclusive Excellence Plan (PDF) ensures we live up to our values. These are the values that inspire our actions.
Specific Committees and initiatives have been established in the following areas:
- Critical Conversations – UMKC is convening regional leaders for tough monthly conversations our community needs to have about race.
- Professional Development – UMKC commits to providing training for all faculty and staff by the end of 2020 to recognize and address microaggressions and implicit bias. Trainings on additional topics will follow.
- Virtual Resource Center – This is a much-needed, comprehensive resource the Greater Kansas City community can use to help answer questions or solve challenges around diversity, equity, and inclusion.
- UMKC Inventory – We are taking stock of all the programs, initiatives, and research that we have in place to aid and support our diverse communities.
- Digital Equity Working Group – The purpose of UMKC Digital Equity Working Group is to engage actively through teaching, research, service, and convening with local government and diverse community stakeholders to advocate for digital inclusion and equity in affordable access to high-speed internet
- Troost to Prospect Partnerships – Uniquely situated to be a resource for those in the urban core, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is identifying and implementing community engagement strategies, especially in partnership with our neighbors along the Troost to Prospect corridor. To do so, UMKC will seek ways to link neighbors to leverage growth, spotlight, and support small businesses and community-based organizations and continue to collaborate with our Troost to Prospect neighbors on issues of importance to the community.t, devices to use it, and educational and training opportunities to promote its adoption and use.
- 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 Taskforce – This group will review and offer recommendations on building and scholarship naming practices, including evaluating the Miller Nichols Library name and the context around the naming of the library.
- Minority Student Leadership Taskforce – The leaders of UMKC minority student organizations are coming together to develop and address some of the most pressing questions for students. The first meeting focused on issues that affect our Black students.
- 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.
- Roo Advocates – Roo Advocates are members of a chancellor-appointed working group who are responsible for generating, implementing, and supporting efforts that position UMKC as a resource for Black and other persons of color. Comprised of Executive Council members, this group ensures that UMKC students, faculty, and staff are being heard and engaged in discussions and actions that improve the quality of life on campus.