DT | Evergy Presents: Courageous Conversations - How Can Diverse Leadership Strengthen Kansas City’s Educational Environment?
**This program will start promptly at 11:30 am
**Networking from 11:15 am - 11:30 am
Similar to the workplace, students spend more time in school than they do at home. This means they are heavily influenced by the teachers and students that they interact with. Teachers impact the lives of students more than we may realize. 75% of students say that teachers are mentors and role models, and 98% of people believe that a good teacher can change the course of a student's life. Students need positive relationships with their teachers. According to the report, National Viewpoint: The Importance of Hiring a Diverse Faculty, Students can find security in knowing that there is someone at their school or on their campus that has their best interest in mind, that is looking out for them, and more importantly, someone who understands their culture and the different things about them. Diverse faculty bring an array of diverse course content, teaching methods and ideas to students.
Join us for a panel discussion with top education leaders in the Kansas City community to highlight the benefits and importance of diversity in education.
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.
Our society has encountered many difficulties by unintentionally creating offense. In Courageous Conversations, we'll determine how to replace these failures with a new unified level of understanding. We'll work to lay a glossary of terms in areas which are difficult to understand, tackle topics like conscious vs. unconscious bias and uncover how to give our words the power of positive impact. Central Exchange will offer an environment to practice the conversations that we all need to initiate so we're equipped to communicate with both confidence and grace.
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.
Allen Roberson -
Dr. Siabhan May-Washington is currently the President of St. Teresa's Academy in Kansas City, an all-girls Catholic high school. She serves on the Curriculum Committee of the Madam President's Camp-a civic engagement camp dedicated to empowering young girls to aspire to leadership. Siabhan is a National Board Certified English teacher who taught English and served as an English teacher and department chair at Anderson Alternative School, Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, and Pembroke Hill Upper School. Previously, she served as the International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy, and also as the Assistant Principal of Faculty Development at Pembroke Hill Upper School. Siabhan led a multi-year study of the homework load at Pembroke Hill and presented Homework Dilemma research findings at a national conference. Prior to accepting her current position at St. Teresa's, Siabhan was formerly an adjunct professor for Park University's School of Education and will join Park University's School of Education Advisory board in late fall.
Siabhan earned her bachelor's degree in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a master's degree in English Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, a second master's degree from Park University in Education Administration, and her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Baker University. Siabhan is a native of Kansas City, Missouri, and a graduate of Loretto Academy and St. Joseph's School. She enjoys reading and writing and is currently co-authoring a book entitled Optimizing Learning: Powerful Teaching Strategies to Energize Your Classroom. She is married to Rick Washington; they have three children: Brandon, Lauren, and Taryn.
Dr. Patricia Gray - Notre Dame de Sion Schools of Kansas City
Leslie Doyle, Ed.D., is Rockhurst University's inaugural chief inclusion officer. In this position, Doyle will lead the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, a newly created office charged with driving strategic efforts to make Rockhurst a home for all. Doyle earned a Bachelor of Science at Northwest Missouri State University, a Master of Science in higher education at the University of Kansas, Master of Management in business and leadership at Fontbonne University, and Doctor of Education in higher education leadership at Maryville University.
She began her career at the University of Kansas (KU) in 1997 in housing. Dr. Doyle served as a Scholarship Hall Director and as Program Coordinator for the most diverse residence hall on campus. Dr. Doyle served in this capacity until her resignation from KU to join Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1999.
Dr. Leslie Doyle joined Nebraska Wesleyan University in October 1999 as the Multicultural Student Coordinator leading programming efforts around diversity and inclusion and advising multicultural student groups. In 2005, she left this post to join Fontbonne University as the director of multicultural affairs.
She progressively gained more responsibilities and in 2008 was promoted to the director of service, diversity and social justice overseeing community service and diversity and inclusion efforts. Following the death of Mike Brown in St. Louis in 2014, Dr. Doyle began leading strategic diversity, and inclusion efforts for Fontbonne University including chairing an academic initiative focused on Civil Rights called the Dedicated Semester and being appointed by the university president to chair the Standing Committee on Diversity and Inclusion.
In April 2019, Dr. Doyle became the inaugural Chief Inclusion Officer at Rockhurst University. As Chief Inclusion Officer, Dr. Doyle oversees the office of diversity, equity and inclusion, bringing almost two decades of experience in higher education to the job.
Tara Haksins - Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy