diversity training | KCUR

diversity training

Segment 1: Kansas City's journey toward greater inclusivity takes one step forward, two steps back.

The state of diversity and inclusion in Kansas City is shaping up to be one of this year's most tenuous storylines. We previewed both positive and negative issues facing marginalized communities in the metro, including diversity training for law enforcement and seemingly discriminatory legislative efforts.

Segment 1: The woman who coined 'white fragility' unpacks the meaning of the term.

Robin DiAngelo first started noticing what she now calls 'white fragility' about twenty years ago, when she worked alongside people of color as a diversity trainer. The resulting research culminated in a book that's been a New York Times Bestseller for more than a year. It's also elicited death threats.

Segment 1: Now that controversial diversity training has been approved, embattled superintendent is "just ready to move forward on behalf of young people."   

When Lee's Summit R-7 District Superintendent Dennis Carpenter proposed diversity training for the staff, he received backlash from some in the community and among employees. Carpenter spoke on what the months-long dispute could mean for the district's future and what the diversity training is about. 

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

The Lee’s Summit school board remains deeply divided over issues of race and equity, a week after voting down a plan to bring in consultants for diversity training.

At a tense work session Wednesday night, newly elected board member Mike Allen accused the district’s first black superintendent, Dennis Carpenter, of only caring about black students.

Carpenter responded, “I will not let you do this. Tell me when I said I was here for the black kids only.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

After the Lee's Summit School Board rejected a racial equity training proposal Thursday night, Superintendent Dennis Carpenter interrupted the board meeting and told the board to review his contract and “find a leader you can trust.”

“Every piece that I’ve put forward in this district to try and ensure greater equity, it was met with opposition,” Carpenter said. “If you don’t believe that of all inequities in the district, the greatest one isn’t racial, I don’t know what rock you’re living under … Folks, we’ve got work to do.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Deniese Fahnbulleh was already taking honors classes at Winnetonka High School when she decided to challenge herself with three Advanced Placement courses.

“It was the next step,” said Fahnbulleh, a junior who participates in cheer, golf and student council. “My friend and I enrolled together because we thought it would be a great opportunity to get the feeling of college classes.”

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Parents whose kids attend Lee’s Summit schools are growing increasingly frustrated with the school board and superintendent as tensions escalate over issues of equity and race.

It was standing room only Tuesday night as parents demanded the Board of Education justify the need for professional development from a particular diversity consultant.

Starbucks stores across the country will be closed on Tuesday afternoon. The company announced it would use the half day to “conduct racial-bias education geared toward preventing discrimination in our stores.”

Starbucks announced the move in April after video of police arresting two black men at a Philadelphia location went viral. An employee had called police because the men, who were waiting for someone, had not ordered anything and were refusing to leave. One of the pair had asked to the use the restroom.

Segment 1: What does diversity in the workplace look like today?

When people talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, it's usually from the standpoint of the employer. But what about the employee perspective? And for local professionals of color, how does it translate to the day-to-day realities of going to work?

A recent study from the Brookings Institution suggests that the vast majority of our country's high-tech jobs are clustered in just a handful of cities. Local tech experts argue Kansas City, Missouri is on its way to the center of that cluster. 

Is Kansas City a tech hub? What factors are influencing the "rise of the rest" in our region?

Guests:

The University of Missouri should emphasize diversity in its recruitment, train professors in the importance of diversity in their courses and increase outreach to improve diversity among faculty and staff, a systemwide task force recommended on Wednesday.

Those proposals were among priority items included in the task force’s report. It was responding to a comprehensive audit of diversity, equity and inclusion practices at the university conducted by the consulting firm IBIS.

More companies are beginning to worry about diversity in their offices as the American workforce experiences a huge demographic shift. As Kansas City's entrepreneurial community continues to grow, it has the opportunity to avoid the same inclusion problems that plague Silicon Valley. 

Guest:

What do the different groups assembled within the LGBTQIA umbrella need in order to feel safe in a "safe space," and what are the obstacles to creating an inclusive hub that serves everyone? Plus, an exploration of the role that law and policy play in creating a sense of safety for this community.

Guests:

KU / Creative Commons

For the past few decades, American communities have been trying to foster this thing called "multiculturalism." As we continue to debate notions of privilege and perception, how is this experiment going? Are we more empathetic than we used to be? Plus, having "the talk"... about race.

Guests:

E pluribus unum—out of many is one—that’s was a founding principle for America.

Indeed, American language and culture shows the imprint of many different cultural influences.  But as the United States becomes more diverse, sometimes unity and understanding between different groups can become strained.