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6.25 Social Work Clock Hours Available 

Application approved by NASW-Missouri Chapter


Pending certificates for Continuing Legal Education.  

$25 General Admission (Includes lunch and credit hours)

Group Discount

10% discount off 5 or more, 20% off 10 or more tickets

The Conference

A Day of Powerful Talks

08 August 2019

8:00 am

How do we hold each other accountable as we continue to press forward toward
inclusive excellence? We will address our collective responsibility toward a community
built on trust, transparency, equity, diversity and inclusivity. It is important that we
continue to monitor the state of our intentional work toward a community focused on
inclusive excellence. Even when times are quiet, the work must continue.

6.25 Social Work Clock Hours

Application approved by NASW-Missouri Chapter.

Pending certificates for Continuing Legal Education.


7:15 am 

Disability is Diversity: Panel Discussion

Session #1 - 9:15 a.m.

A panel of people with different abilities will discuss inclusivity and challenges faced in our community.

Really Addressing the Current Environment

Session #1 - 9:15 a.m.

How can we address healing and reconciliation without addressing the issues that we would much rather avoid? First, we have to talk about it, but we have to do the work necessary to move beyond dialogue. We will look at productive ways to address the topics that make us the most uncomfortable by directing our lens to the true realities of the world around us.

Humanizing Our Coworkers

Session #1 - 9:15 a.m.

The workplace can feel particularly easy to create transactional relationships with your co-workers that impedes empathy, connection, and understanding. Many diversity practitioners often wonder, how can we increase organizational support for sustaining an inclusive workforce? This session will discuss leveraging existing programs, encouraging a culture that recognizes and celebrates individuality, and facilitate employee engagement.

Using Data to Promote Equity: Balancing Individual Outcomes with Systems

Session #2 - 10:45 a.m.

Equity reflects a balanced relationship not only among individuals, but between individuals and systems. By combining trend data on student outcomes, we will explore connections with local systemic patterns related to poverty, neighborhood segregation, and it's impact on our families.

Many Faces of Privilege

Session #2 - 10:45 a.m.

The exercise seeks to highlight the fact that everyone has SOME privilege, even as some people have more privilege than others. By illuminating our various privileges as individuals, we can recognize ways that we can use our privileges individually and collectively to work towards inclusion for everyone. This will be an opportunity to understand the intricacies of privilege and to explore the ways that we have privilege based on being members of social identity groups.

Navigating LGBTQ Allyship

Session #2 - 10:45 a.m.

How do we become more active allies to the LGBTQ community? Learn how to step up in the moment, protect the LGBTQ folx in your life, and how to recover gracefully when (not if) you make a mistake.

Diversity in Beliefs:
Panel Discussion

Session #3 - 1:15 p.m.

When we think about diversity, often times varied belief systems aren't the first thing that comes to our mind. This panel will try to answer some questions about the importance of seeing someone's beliefs as a part of their identity and the importance that can play at work, home, place of worship, etc. 

Paradigm Shift in How We Serve

Session #3 - 1:15 p.m.

How do we address our reactions to challenging situations so our children, employees, and peers will have positive outcomes? This session will share tools needed so that all have the support to thrive. 

Women in Tech

Session #3 - 1:15 p.m.

Come listen to a panel of women share their narratives about being a woman in tech and share advice to those considering career options. They will discuss the adversities they’ve encountered and obstacles encountered over the years. They will also share their positive experiences of female advocacy and the meaningful support from male colleagues.

Mediated ‘Isms and Their Use in Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations 

Session #4 - 2:45 p.m.

Join Dr. Cynthia Frisby, Professor at the University of Missouri's School of Journalism, for this presentation on how different media messages form our assumptions and fuel stereotypes related to gender and race. Frisby will share her research on representation in media and its effects on minorities, women and adolescents and provide attendees with tools for recognizing and combating these effects.

Identity Inclusion

Session #4 - 2:45 p.m.

This creative experience and discussion will help us think about privilege and hetero-sexism. We will reflect on our own behaviors and beliefs around sexual orientation.

Addressing Difficult History Without
Sugar-Coating the Truth

Session #4 - 2:45 p.m.

Both children and adults alike can benefit from being told their true history, even when topics cause us discomfort and shame. Learning about our true history enables us to confront the past and become empowered by it. We cannot fix what we will not face.


7:15 am 

Registration Opens

8:00 am 

Opening General Session

9:15 am 

Session 1

  • Disability is Diversity

  • Really Addressing the Current Environment RACE

  • Humanizing Our Coworkers

10:45 am 

Session 2

  • Using Data to Promote Equity: Balancing Individual Outcomes with Systems

  • Many Faces of Privilege 

  • Ally-Oops! Navigating LGBTQ Allyship

12:00 pm 


1:15 pm 

Session 3

  • Diversity in Beliefs: Panel Discussion

  • Paradigm Shift in How We Serve

  • Women in Tech: Panel Discussion

2:45 pm 

  • Mediated ‘Isms and Their Use in Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations

  • LGBTQIAA+: Identity Inclusion

  • Addressing Difficult History Without Sugar-Coating the Truth

Session 4

4:15 pm 

Closing General Session









Dr. Cynthia Frisby

Dr. Cynthia Frisby is a nationally-recognized authority on media portrayals of minorities, athletes, women and teens. Frisby studies how media messages contribute toward creating or maintaining stereotypes and biases against minorities, athletes, women and teens. Among other topics, she has investigated the sources of American viewers’ fascination with reality television and the effects of idealized images on perceptions of body esteem among African American women. Frisby also studies race and gender representation in sports; she analyzed coverage of black male athletes by magazines and news websites from 2002-2012 and demonstrated that news stories involving instances of crime or violence were more heavily covered when they involved black athletes. Additionally, Frisby provides research-based decision-making assistance to health organizations developing communication campaigns for underserved populations.


Frisby earned her doctorate degree and her master’s degree from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications. She joined the Missouri School of Journalism faculty in January 1998 and is a full professor of strategic communication with a joint appointment in the communication department in the College of Arts and Science.

Nikki McGruder

Previously served as Regional Manager of the Columbia Branch of the Diversity Awareness Partnership. Under Nikki's leadership, more than 12,000 community members as well as several businesses and organizations have been touched in and around the Columbia community through inclusive events, training, and community dialogues.

Prior to joining DAP, Nikki worked with leading recruitment process outsourcing firm, Cielo, in the recruiting and hiring of top candidates for technology, pharmaceutical and finance positions. The bulk of her professional experience was with Edward Jones Investments where Nikki served in various capacities over a ten-year time frame.

In her time with Edward Jones, Nikki was afforded the opportunity to work closely with the Inclusion initiative serving as a trainer and coach for minority advisors in the firm’s Cross Cultural Development training program as well as with a team of professionals working diligently to improve the inclusion initiative for the recruitment and hiring of minority advisors.

Nikki received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Columbia College in Columbia, MO, and her Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts in Human Resources Development from Webster University in St. Louis, MO.

Secily Devese, SHRM-CP

Secily Devese is a University of Missouri graduate with a degree in Personal Financial Planning. Currently, she works on the culture team at Veterans United Home Loans in the Diversity and Inclusion department. There she manages projects, programs, and facilitates discussions that help educate her co-workers and community members on topics surrounding diversity. She is the founder of Executive of My Future, a mentorship program devoted to the success of young women by helping them to exercise problem-solving skills, decision making skills and promoting responsibility.

Amber Cheek, JD

Amber manages all aspects of ADA compliance across the university, including accessibility, program access, and reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff. Amber came to Mizzou from the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington D.C., where she was a Presidential Management Fellow and Co-Director of the Workforce Recruitment Program, a nationwide employment program for persons with disabilities. Amber also has experience working for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Amber is a person with a disability and a first-generation college graduate.

Kari Utterback

Kari Utterback graduated from Missouri State University in 2007 and promptly moved to Columbia, MO where she got involved with her municipal government. She is now working at the City of Columbia as an Administrative Supervisor and lead facilitator for their equity and inclusion training program. She has been integral in implementing a community-wide framework to look at how individuals can work to interrupt their biases and understand their privilege. She is the 2019 Columbia Values Diversity Award recipient. Outside of her work at the City, she has one husband, two dogs, a small business, severe anxiety, and a very large family and support system that helps her to keep everything mostly manageable!

Rachel Johnson

Rachel L. Johnson teaches Kindergarten through 5th grade in a multiage classroom at The Children’s School at Stephens College in Columbia, MO. As a seventh-year teacher, she also mentors preservice teachers. She earned her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Stephens College and is passionate about the teaching and learning of black history, anti-racist education, and tolerance. Additionally, she has developed Whiteness 101, a class she teaches on white identify, privilege, and supremacy to community groups and churches in Columbia.

Crystal Kroner, Ph.D.

Crystal Kroner serves as the Executive Director for the Cradle to Career Alliance, an education nonprofit believing all children and families deserve equal opportunities for well-being and success, as a basis of a thriving community. Before her position with C2CA, Dr. Kroner headed a research division at the University of Missouri, after serving as Project Director for a large educator evaluation system and several complex state-level projects at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. She earned her doctorate in Educational Policy Analysis (K-12) with a focus on educational equality, group dynamics and mediation and has an extensive background in evaluation and technical platform design.

Philip G. Peters, Jr.

Philip G. Peters, Jr. serves on the board of directors of the Cradle to Career Alliance of Boone County, a nonprofit created to help reduce educational disparities. He chairs its Data Committee and analyzes local school district data to ascertain disparities and to identify opportunities to reduce them. He has taught at the MU School of Law for 30 years and is currently the Ruth L. Hulston Emeritus Professor of Law.  He served on the board of First  Chance for Children for many years and took a two-year leave of absence from the law school to serve as its Executive Director of First Chance for Children. First Chance is a local nonprofit whose goal is to help more children arrive at school ready to flourish. He began his legal career in 1976 as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mason Aid

Mason Aid graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology plus over 5 years experience in LGBTQ education and advocacy.

Mary Hartigan
Session #3: <