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The Race Project KC Student Symposium is a day-long event that provides high school students with the opportunity to explore racism – it’s effects and potential solutions - using their minds, their hearts and their feet. Students from diverse schools and experiences will come together to reflect on Kansas City’s racial history, discuss racial equity and explore their own agency as they interact with local community change agents.
The 2019 event features best-selling authors:
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates (Between the World and Me, The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power) is the distinguished writer in residence at NYU’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute and winner of the 2015 National Book Award.
  • Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming, Harbor Me, Each Kindness, and more) is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and winner of many awards including the 2014 National Book Award and the Coretta Scott King Award.
  • Tanner Colby’s book, Some of My Best Friends Are Black, The Strange Story of Integration in America was nominated for the 2013 Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non-fiction. He has been working with Race Project KC since its inception and his book is an important part of the students’ education about the history of race in Kansas City, and in America, since the Civil Rights Movement.

Session Registration
Please register for sessions you would like to attend by Sunday, April 21 and avoid signing up for the same session twice in a row. If you are not registered on that date, you will be randomly assigned workshops for the day. (So pick them yourself and have way more fun!)

Photo Disclaimer: The Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center is a public building, by attending this event you agree that your image may be used for promotional purposes by Johnson County Library, Johnson County Parks and Recreation and their partners.

Johnson County Library and its board members, officers and employees may disclaim any responsibility for the content of workshops offered by third party facilitators; they are not an expression of Library policy.
Museum Classroom [clear filter]
Thursday, April 25

9:30am CDT

Educator Workshop
Limited Capacity full

Our morning educator workshop features two amazing speakers:

Ok, So You're NOT A Racist! Now What?: Examining the realities of systemic racism in education with David Muhammad

Operationalizing Equity: The Power of Cultural Reciprocity with Stephenie Smith and Dr. Rodney Smith
Cultural Reciprocity and Responsiveness Training asks learners to focus on the exchange that must take place among and between individuals who are coming from different cultural backgrounds. Cultural reciprocity and responsiveness calls for constant introspection that promotes a willingness to reflect upon the often unquestioned aspects of our dominant culture in juxtaposition to the culture and customs of individuals outside of dominant cultural norms. Central to the tenets of cultural reciprocity and responsiveness is an examination of the culturally-based biases that many individuals harbor, unknowingly. For educators, it requires an examination of school culture, specifically, aspects of school culture that educators take for granted, but aspects that are not so common to individuals unfamiliar with school culture. We invite participants to become curious about how educational outcomes might be better for all if cultural responsiveness increases.

avatar for David Muhammad

David Muhammad

David Muhammad was born and raised in greater Kansas City. He graduated from Emporia State University in 2008, with a Bachelors degree in Secondary Education. In 2012, he received his Masters Degree in Education from Baker University. He currently works as a high school social studies... Read More →
avatar for Stephenie Smith, MSW

Stephenie Smith, MSW

As co-founder and managing partner, Stephenie is Sophic's lead authority on executive project management, organizational structure & design and operations improvement. She has led a number of efforts to align not-for-profit policy with community investments, with a special emphasis... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Rodney Smith

Dr. Rodney Smith

As co-founder and managing partner, Rodney is Sophic’s lead authority on issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion. His expertise is in African American student achievement, urban education and culturally responsive pedagogy.  Rodney is also a Group and Collaborative Learning... Read More →

Thursday April 25, 2019 9:30am - 11:20am CDT
Museum Classroom

1:30pm CDT

Limited Capacity seats available

The publishing industry is finally keying in to the fact that people want to read books about different races, classes, families, situations, etc... which is fantastic! But it’s adults who are deciding what is published and who can write these stories – and sometimes these adults are getting books cancelled or postponed because they don’t meet the Internet standards. I’m tired of hearing what the adults think about diverse literature and want to know - what are you reading? What genres would you like to be reading? And what is annoying you about Twitter call out culture, in regards to books?

avatar for Elena McVicar

Elena McVicar

Elena McVicar is the Youth Collections Specialist for the Johnson County Library, responsible for purchasing and maintaining the youth collections for all 14 branches. She is a gigantic kids lit nerd – and even has an MA in Children’s and Adolescent Literature from Simmons College... Read More →

Thursday April 25, 2019 1:30pm - 2:00pm CDT
Museum Classroom
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