Learn about all the DEI initiatives and updates.
Learn about all the DEI initiatives and updates.

Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Newsletter 

School of Medicine, UMKC

Spring 2021 Issue

Let us acknowledge, remember, and celebrate holidays and observances including Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day, Easter, Passover, Deaf History Month, Arab American Heritage Month, Ramadan, National Minority Health Month, Black Maternal Health Week, Asian American and Pacific Islander Month, Jewish American Heritatge Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, PRIDE month and Juneteenth.


On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 we witnessed the verdict in the George Floyd murder case. There were many emotions about the verdict including tears of joy, hugs, shouts of thankfulness, and collective sighs of relief as well as thoughts of skepticism and wondering what will happen in future cases like this. While there was hope that justice was served, we know that this was only one case among many where a person of color was murdered by law enforcement without a trial or closure for family and friends. We must not rest on our laurels as more work is yet and needs to be done in fighting against racial and social injustice in society. Countless numbers of people of color have been murdered and their name went unspoken, a protest march was not organized, and a cell phone camera or social media did not capture their story. We recognize that violent acts and discriminatory behaviors against persons of color and marginalized/minoritized communities unfortunately continue to exist in our society. We speak the names of those unknown and known in the murders of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Dante Wright, Ma’Khia Bryant, and Andrew Brown Jr. We at UMKC School of Medicine do not accept or tolerate any actions or behaviors that are not in alignment with our vision, mission, and goals to respect and value all persons and identities. We remain vigilant and steadfast in our continued efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion as we strive to promote an empowering, safe environment for learning, research, and training for students, faculty, and staff while providing excellent medical care to our patients and the Greater Kansas City community.

Stay Woke Spotlight

This Stay Woke Spotlight highlights Reaner Shannon, PhD. Dr. Shannon is a retired medical technologist, educator, and administrator who worked for the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine as the Associate Dean of Cultural Enhancement and Minority Affiars for 34 years. During her time at UMKC, she pioneered scholarships and outreach programs to recruit underrepresented students to the School of Medicine and to better support their positive academic outcomes once enrolled. Each year during Black History Month, Dr. Shannon hosted amazing speakers to address the health care disparities in minority communities. This led to the creation of the Dr. Reaner and Mr. Henry Shannon Lectureship in Minority Health in 2004. This lectureship focuses on raising awareness about health care disparities, and their relative outcomes, in minority communities. An endowment fund was created so the lectureship will continue in the future. We are honored to celebrate the amazing Dr. Reaner Shannon! Stay positive and remain woke. 

To Donate to the Endowment please visit: http://go.umkc.edu/give/ and select “Designate your gift to an academic unit, scholarship, or program” and type in “Shannon Lecture Endowment” to indicate your designation.

Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

DEI Updates

Multicultural Advisory Community of Students

AMWA American Medical Women's Association

  • Hosted in collaboration with the DEI Office a series of Women's History events like: Tips for Choosing Life/Disability Insurance with Dr. Pearson and Celebrating LeadHership with a Women in leadership panel across the SOM
  • Hosted their MACS Educational Session centered on Microaggressions featuring a mini lecture by Dean Jackson and a panel of Physicians: Dr. David John, Dr. Bridgette Jones, Dr. Mike Moncure, Dr. Liset Olarte, and Dr. Dwight Yin

APAMSA Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association

  • Hosted their MACS Educational Session featuring the Rose Brooks Center in April. The talk focused on what Rose Brooks offers and how it supports the Kansas City community as a Domestic Violence Emergency shelter. 

LGBTQIA Health District Alliance

  • Hosted their MACS Educational Sessions in March hosted by the Alliance and featuring topics centered on How to be an Ally, LGBTQIA+ trivia, and Being a Trans person

SNMA Student National Medical Association

  • Hosted their annual In Living Culture event in April entirely virtually which featured a variety of cultures, traditions and styles.

Honoring our Student Leaders

We extend our extreme gratitude to our DEI Council elected Student representatives and our MACS leaders of 2020-2021 and 2019-2020 original MACS members. Thank you for your voice and continued service to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Jessica Anyaso
DEI Council 3-6 Representative and President of SNMA
Sayra Nieto Gomez
DEI Council 3-6 Representative and Social Chair of LMSA
Jessi Bautisa Espino
DEI Council 1-2 Representative and Historian of LMSA
Samar Azzaidani
DEI Council Graduate Representative and Diversity Officer of PA Program

Thank You MACS Leaders and Congrats Seniors!

APAMSA - Victoria Shi, Nabeel Rasheed, Steven Nguyen, Neha Potta, Rachel Tran, Pournika Muniyandi, Deepa Kumar, Ish Patel, and Jimmy He
AMWA - Nikhila Pokala and Mahnoor Malik
LGBTQIA Health District Alliance - Emma Connelly, Amudha Porchzhian, Faith Mueller and Charlie Burke
LMSA - Deborah Rivera-Hernandez, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Eiman Saraya, Kabir Torres and Gabriel Calderón
SNMA - Jessica Anyaso, Angela Nwankwo, Debra Wekesa and Chidera Okafor

U.N.I.T.E.D.

Uniting Numerous medIcal Trainees for Equity and Diversity
UNITED is preparing to transition its leadership and membership. If you are interested in being a representative for UNITED from your residency program, please contact Raquel McCommon.

The Learning Environment

Project Expect Respect

The Learning Environment recently launched Project Expect Respect. This initiative is designed to highlight the stories and lived experiences of our SOM community in efforts to promote learning, teachable moments, and empathy from the experiences of others. Please click here to share your story or read the stories of others.

File a Mistreatment Report using the QR code below:

Learn more about the Ombuspersons

Affiliate Updates

Truman Medical Center
Children's Mercy Hosptial

Division of Diversity and Inclusion UMKC Updates

Women of Color Conference

Hosted Friday, June 4, 2021
Keynote Speaker: Donna Brazile, Presidential Campaign manager, political strategist, author, TV Commentator
Fireside Chat with: Danielle Metz, Activist, CEO, clemency coordinator
In solidarity and unity,
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
The School of Medicine Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council
powered by emma