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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.
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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 expert.
Dr. Smith holds a Graduate Adjunct Professorship with the School of Education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he specializes in courses that address racial and ethnic diversity, and cultural understanding. Over the course of a 22-year career, Dr. Smith’s scholarly interests have taken aim at the implications of race and racism in American society.
Dr. Smith recently wrote and published Are We Really Crabs in a Barrel: The Truth and Other Insights About the African American Community,as well as, a chapter in an anthology entitled The Trayvon Martin in Us: An American Tragedy.
Smith holds a Doctor of Education Degree from Tennessee State University, a Master of Education Degree also from Tennessee State University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Morris Brown College.

My Speakers Sessions

Thursday, April 25

9:30am CDT

1:30pm CDT