**This program will start promptly at 11:30 am
**Networking from 11:15 am - 11:30 am
Please join us for part 2 of Courageous Conversations - Coming to the Table: Tools for Making it Easier to Build Cross-Racial Friendships
Candid communication and camaraderie between black and white women in America is rare. Friendship patterns in the U.S. remain largely segregated because of personal choices often shaped by bias (conscious or unconscious) and systemic racism.
How can we strengthen relationships between black and white women as it relates to authentic friendships? How can cross-racial friendships help to bridge the racial divide and create social change?
Join us for a session that dissects race and gender, discusses the richly nuanced interdependency of black and white women and how each has to stand in her own radical truth to create authentic friendships. These unbridled friendships are the foundation for healing the racial issues that ail the world.
During this session, attendees will learn about the business case for cross-racial relationships, understand the need for conversation and how to foster heart friendships to create community.
Please note that we will follow an outlined set of principles to keep the conversation flowing among attendees with respect, kindness and understanding. You may review them here.
With the new Courageous Conversations series, CX is creating a safe and intentional place for people to talk about the issues that spark genuine curiosity and an authentic desire to better understand, but yet can sometimes be uncomfortable to discuss. It's the platform to take conversations that are normally uncomfortable to start. Through guided conversations, we'll raise tough topics to the surface in order to create greater unity.
Michelle P. Wimes serves as the Chief Diversity and Professional Development Officer at Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., one of the nation's largest labor and employment law firms. In her role, Michelle leads the firm's efforts to attract, develop, retain, promote and advance a diverse group of attorneys across the firm's national platform of 53 offices in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Additionally, Michelle leads the firm's attorney training and professional development efforts. She is based in Ogletree Deakins' Kansas City office.
Michelle has extensive experience in delivering strategic leadership, client development, and talent management programming. She is deft at implementing change management strategies necessary for comprehensive and effective diversity and inclusion and professional development initiatives and programming. Previously, Michelle practiced law for 14 years where she handled all aspects of employment litigation while serving as an equity partner at a Kansas City-based firm. She focused on matters involving employment discrimination, harassment, and civil rights issues while representing clients before the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as local, state and federal courts.
Later, Michelle spent four years on the senior management team of a premier Am Law 100 law firm as their Director of Strategic Initiatives, spearheading diversity and inclusion strategies and programming for lawyers across nine offices in the United States and Europe.
Prior to a career in law, Michelle was an elementary and middle school teacher in Kansas City.She received a B.A. from the University of Missouri and performed graduate work at the University of Seville in Spain and undergraduate work at the University of Xalapa in Veracruz, Mexico. Due to her studies and her extensive legal work in Latin America, she is fluent in Spanish.Michelle earned her law degree, with trial advocacy honors, from Tulane Law School. She is the proud wife of federal district court judge Brian C. Wimes and the mother of three daughters, Sydney, Gabrielle, and Saige.
Nicole Price gets it.
She understands that if leadership is anything, it is personal, and that everyone can be a great leader - everyone can lead his or her own, whole life. So she gets personal. Nicole's transparency allows others to learn from her mistakes and helps them avoid the same pitfalls. She gets real. She will tell you, yes, having differences within a team can be harder, but that hard work can really pay off, both professionally and personally. And she gets wise. She'll tell you, in a heartbeat, how she's gotten a few things wrong over the years, but a little grace and some solid coaching saved her.
Can you make mistakes and still be an awesome leader? Is it possible to lead effectively with so many personalities on one team? Can you genuinely lead people and still have a decent life and energy left to live it? If you ask Nicole, the answer is absolutely yes.
Through leadership development, coaching, consulting, keynotes, and other resources, Nicole encourages and enables others to live their lives in excellence. Her energetic and engaging sessions leave participants with strategies and specific tools that they can apply right away. Her lively presentation style garners rave reviews and, very often, an invitation to return.
Nicole received her B.S. in chemical engineering from North Carolina A&T University and her master's degree in adult education from Park University. For more information about Nicole and Lively Paradox programs, please visit www.livelyparadox.net.
A native of North Carolina and a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Bachelor of Science in Accounting), Courtney Thomas moved to the Kansas City community in September of 2002. Courtney brings more than fourteen years of executive leadership, innovative vision, and strategic alignment to the Central Exchange.
Courtney joined the CX team in February of 2017, and her arrival coincided with the launch of a new strategic plan for the Central Exchange, outlining our path forward from now through 2020. Over the next four years, Courtney's leadership and vision will shape the execution strategy to deliver on our goals to: Enhance Brand Equity, Grow Membership, Focus and Elevate Programming, Upgrade Technology, and Improve our Financial Strength.
Prior to joining CX, Courtney served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Great Plains SCPCA, Kansas City's largest animal welfare organization. Serving in this capacity for over six years, Courtney led a staff of 160 and managed a budget of $7.8M, while growing the organization's mission impact by over 350% and establishing new facilities on both sides of the state line. As the top executive, she set the vision and strategy for operations, marketing, fundraising and business development, while leading agency culture, human resources, and finance activities. Prior to her most recent role as CEO, Courtney spent ten years in progressively responsible leadership positions in Marketing, Public Relations, and Operations.
Outside of work, Courtney is the mother of three beautiful young children and has been married to her husband Jeff for twelve years. She loves spending time with family, practicing photography, supporting our hometown teams, and participating in civic activities that make Kansas City a better place for all of us to live.
Rebecca Baumgartner is the Diversity & Inclusion Manager for Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., an AMLaw 100 law firm. With a background in Human Resources Management, Rebecca specializes in developing and facilitating training, mentoring, succession planning, onboarding and talent management.
With a master's degree in Human Performance Improvement, Rebecca is a people and process consultant, focusing on driving change for organizational inclusion. She regularly speaks on the impact emotional intelligence has on identifying and mitigating bias, helping others not only improve their self-awareness of their unconscious bias but giving them tools to interrupt them and act more inclusively.
As an advocate for belonging, she supports others in their journey to live and lead with vulnerability and authenticity.