Most Impactful Executive Director
NIKKI MCGRUDER Most Impactful Executive Director Inclusive Impact Institute
"As director of the institute, Nikki is able to do work that means the world to her. “It’s work that does not feel like work at all,” she says. “As cliché as it sounds, it is so true. I can be my authentic self in the work that I do, and I encourage others to be a part of communities that allow them to be their authentic selves as well.”
Nikki’s goals for 2020 and beyond are to continue providing programming and opportunities to educate and bring awareness to the community as it relates to diversity and inclusion. Her team is committed to a community where each and every human being feels that they have a place and that they belong.
Nikki credits her motivation to her children. She wants for them to inherit a society that is better than the one she had, or her mother or grandmother had. “I look at them as they look at me with the full expectation that I am going to take care of them to the best of my ability,” she says. “They’re relying on me, and I do not want to disappoint them.”
The work gets done thanks to the countless volunteers helping to provide programming and give of their time and expertise. The institute collaborates across city and county government, with for-profit and nonprofit organizations, with public and higher education, and beyond.
“The Journey Toward Inclusive Excellence Committee, in particular, has worked alongside us for two years now in a pure volunteer capacity, and we work together to make our community one committed to inclusive excellence,” Nikki shares.
Nikki is proud of any recognition that honors the work being done, and she was excited to recently receive the Statewide Collaborative Diversity Champion award from Missouri State University."