Missouri State University
Diversity Blog

Traveling Exhibit in Springfield: Changing America


Setting the stage for a program series exploring civil rights and race relations, this traveling exhibit portrays the impact these historic events had on equal rights for Americans, July 12-August 22, 2014, at the Library Center, 4653 S. Campbell Ave.

Two Sisters, A Cause and a Case that Changed America Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson share their story of “Brown V. Board of Education and How it Changed America,”7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, Central High School  auditorium, 432 E. Central St.

Exhibit Opening Ceremony Saturday, July 12, 1-3 p.m. Library Center auditorium. H. Wes Pratt, Missouri State University equal opportunity officer, will discuss how these historical events grew out of bold actions and vision. The band Geezer will perform protest songs that energized causes including the Civil Rights Movement.

Two Sisters, a Cause and a Case that Changed America

Linda and Cheryl Brown were children when their father the Rev. Oliver L. Brown joined other parents in a lawsuit challenging racial segregation in the Topeka, Kan., public schools. Their challenge became the landmark 1954 U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, which held that racial segregation of children in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. In this 60th anniversary year of the landmark case, sisters Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson will share the story of “Brown v. Board of Education and How it Changed America,” 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31, in the Central High School auditorium, 432 E. Central St. The program will include a short video about Brown v. Board of Education and an audience Q&A. The Browns have a personal connection to Springfield. In 1959 the family moved here and the Rev. Oliver Brown was pastor of Benton Avenue AME Church. Linda graduated from Central High School in 1961. When the Rev. Brown died that year, his widow moved the family back to Topeka. The Brown sisters’ visit is sponsored by the Friends of the Library and The Library Foundation.

This grant-funded exhibit, “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963” is presented by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The tour of the exhibition is made possible by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. The films are part of the Created Equal film series, developed by the National Endowment for the Humanities in collaboration with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

Image credits: Front panel: J. J. Smith’s Plantation, Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862, courtesy of Library of Congress; Inside left: Emancipation Day, Richmond, Virginia, 1905, courtesy of Library of Congress; Inside center: Participants at the March on Washington, courtesy of U.S. National Archives and Records Administration; Inside right: President Lyndon B. Johnson Signs the Civil Rights Act, July 2, 1964, courtesy of Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum; Below: “We March, We Demand,” courtesy of Library of Congress.


American Experience: “Freedom Riders”

Thursday, Aug. 7, 6-8 p.m., Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E. Brookside Drive. Not rated, 117 minutes. This 2010 PBS film documents the story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders, who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.

“Springfield’s Family Album”

The week of August 11, the Springfield Art Museum with Memphis, Tenn., photographer, installation and performance artist Richard Lou will produce a program exploring race and identity through images and stories. For details call 417-837-5700.

Slavery in America: The Final Chapters, 1863-1865

Monday, August 18, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation marked the beginning of the end of slavery, but it took two more years to disappear from American life, says Dr. Greg Renoff, associate professor of history at Drury University.

Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement

Tuesday, July 22, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Dr. King’s rhetoric and the Civil Rights Movement transformed the nation. Dr. Richard Schur, professor of English at Drury University, will explore King’s speeches
and how his message changed over his lifetime.

“Slavery by Another Name”

Tuesday, July 29, 6 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Not rated, 90 minutes. This 2012 PBS documentary challenges the belief that slavery in the United States ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. Tolerated by both the North and South, forced labor lasted well into the 20th century.

Book Discussion

Wednesday, July 30, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium. “March: Book One” by John Lewis.

American Experience: “The Abolitionists”

Sunday, Aug. 3, 1:30-4:30 p.m., Library Center auditorium. Not rated, 180 minutes. The 2013 PBS special dramatizes how abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that changed the nation.

Images of the “Changing America” Exhibit

July 12-Aug. 22, Park Central Branch Library. See historical images from the larger exhibit on display at the Library Center July 9-Aug. 22.

Marching Towards Justice: Nannie Helen Burroughs and the Quest for Race Equality

Tuesday, July 15, 7 p.m., Library Center auditorium, for adults. Dr. Angela Hornsby-Gutting, associate professor of history at Missouri State University, will talk about race activist Nannie Helen Burroughs. She operated the National Training School for Women and Girls in Washington, D.C., from 1909-1961, instilling racial pride while promoting the dignity of black labor and black womanhood.

Book Discussion, “Kindred”

Thursday, July 17, 6:30 p.m. Brentwood Branch Library, “Kindred” by Octavia Butler.

“The Loving Story”

Saturday, July 19, 1 p.m., Moxie Cinema, 305 S. Campbell Ave., for adults. Not rated, 77 minutes. Free admission. This 2012 HBO documentary follows interracial married couple Richard and Mildred Loving, convicted of miscegenation in 1958. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the couple’s favor, overturning bans on interracial marriage.

Posted in Community Focus, Diversity Initiatives, Upcoming Events | 3 Comments


LeadersCamp is among of the most distinguished and celebrated programs in the nation. The camp is considered ‘life-changing’ for students who are selected and presented the opportunity to attend. An overnight leadership experience, LeadersCamp is a retreat program for High School and College Students and is designed to challenge and provoke leadership skills in the young people who attend. Successful speakers and community mentors facilate unqiue LeadersCamp programming that includes leadership instruction, workshops, keynote addresses, and programmed recreational activities.

Every camp is unique and planned from scratch by the founder and dedicated team of volunteers who support its mission. When you come to a LeadersCamp, you are truly getting a one-of-a-kind experience. Top quality professional speakers, successful mentors who are present during the entire camp, and carefully planned programming are all a part of why LeadersCamp is different.

For the value we provide the camp could be an expensive proposition, but thanks to our founder’s commitment to making LeadersCamp affordable, we provide an affordable high quality experience.

Every LeadersCamp is different. LeadersCamp VII is a male-only camp. While we are specifically focusing on minority males, we are looking to impact young men who desire to become ‘Elite’ in their daily life.

Registration costs vary based on where you live and the registration options available to you.

Participants must arrange for their own transportation to and from Missouri State University. Groups attending the camp may have additional transportation options.

Welcome Kit

Camp Waiver

For more information, visit www.leaderscamp.org.

LeadersCamp VII Registration

Posted in Campus Focus, Community Focus, Featured, Multicultural Programs, Upcoming Events | 1 Comment

Junior Faculty and Mentors made Notable Impact at Statewide Diversity Conference

During the program’s inaugural year, junior faculty and mentors in the University-based Mentoring, Support, and Partnerships Program (UMSP) at Missouri State University joined the ranks of the state’s leading experts in diversity, equity, and inclusion, to present the following papers at the 2nd Annual Statewide Collaborative Diversity Conference – April 24 & 25, 2014.

  • Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate (Junior Faculty), “Examining the Task of Editing and Proofreading for Nonmainstream American English Speakers.”
  • Christopher Crowley & Dr. Min Yu (Junior Faculty), “Cultural Relevant Pedagogy and Rethinking the Teaching of Poetry.”
  • Dr. Margaret Weaver (Program Mentor), “Counteracting the Notion of Fixed Intelligence: An Exercise in Collaborative Problem-solving between Basic Writers and Presidential Scholars.”
  • Daisy Indira Barron-Collins, Rhonda Hittenberger Ortiz, & Dr. Sarah Nixon (Program Mentor), “Camouflaging Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations.”
  • Dr. Sabrina A. Brinson (Program Coordinator/Program Mentor) & Dr. Shurita Thomas-Tate (Junior Faculty), “School Daze: Using Language and Literature to Eliminate Our Own “Isms.”

For additional information about the program contact Dr. Sabrina A. Brinson, sbrinson@missouristate.edu/417.836.5070

Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Perspectives, Faculty Spotlight | Comments Off

The One Woman Show by Dr. Elaine Richardson


One Woman ShowTheOne Woman Show
Performed by Dr. Elaine Richardson, author of PHD to Ph.D.
Tuesday, May 6th, 7:00-8:30PM
Carrington Theatre, Missouri State University
Back by popular demand!
A celebration of women!
Meet the author at book signing immediately following performance.
Presented by: Sister Circle and the Office of Multicultural Programs
For those with disabilities who may not be able to fully participate because of the instructional format or design of the program may request an accommodation by contacting the Multicultural Resource Center in advance.

Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Initiatives, Featured, Multicultural Programs, Upcoming Events | 1 Comment

Shattering the Silences: Microaggressions: Overt to Covert-Visible to Invisible

Lela Panagides presentation

Microagressions: Overt to Covert-Visible to Invisible
Thursday, May 1, 2014
Carrington Hall 208

Presented by Lela Panagides, Director of People and Organization Capability at Microsoft.

Ms. Panagides gives her time and talents to various non-profit and governmental organizations which focus on historically excluded groups and empowering girls and women through leadership experiences.

In 20113, Ms. Panagides was selected by the Springfield Business Journal as one of the Most Influential Women. She has lived and worked in six countries and resides in Springfield, Missouri.

Go to My Learning Connection in My Missouri State and select “Professional Development-Diversity” form the Choose Category drop-down menu.

You can also sign in at the session if you are unable to register on My Learning Connection.

Those with disabilities who may not be able to fully participate because of the instructional format or design of the program may request accommodation by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at diversityandinclusion@missouristate.edu or 417-836-3736.

The Division for Diversity and Inclusion’s Shattering the Silences Series is a year-round effort to help educate and give a credence and voice to important topics for the campus and to departments and groups needing a form to discuss national, regional and local matters.

Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Initiatives, Featured, Professional Development, Shattering the Silences Series, Upcoming Events | Comments Off

Workshop: Strategies in Minority Faculty/Staff Recruitment and Retention

MinorityR&R WorkshopWednesday, April 23, 2014
Location TBD

Presented by
Dr. Sonel Y. Shropshire, President
The Academic Network
RSVP by Monday, April 21, 2014
to Tabitha Haynes at 6-3736 or
For questions about this workshop, contact
Julie Masterson at 6-4589 or

Workshop topics include:
Faculty Recruitment:
• Creating applicant referral programs with HBCUs, HSIs and Tribal Colleges
• Finding where to advertise positions to attract diverse candidates
• Deconstructing effective job postings (what to write/what not to write)
• Incorporating current faculty, staff and administrators into recruitment
• Using grant funding as a valuable recruitment tool

Faculty Retention:
• Building a Supportive Retention Infrastructure for the Institution
• Exploring what leads to failure in retaining diverse talent
• Creating incentives for diverse outreach
• Developing publications which highlight the campus’ diverse atmosphere
• Keeping diverse members involved with the growth of the institution

Brought to you by the Offices of the Provost and the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion

Those with disabilities who may not be able to fully participate because of the instructional format or design of the program may request accommodation by contacting the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion at diversityandinclusion@missouristate.edu or 417-836-3736.


Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Initiatives, Professional Development, Upcoming Events | Comments Off

Campus Climate Survey for Students

Climate Study Flyer_StudentWe need YOUR input!

Missouri State University Students are invited to participate in the Campus Climate Project!

We want to know…

  • What is it like to go to school here?
  • What are the strengths of the MSU community?
  • What are the issues, concerns, and challenges that must be addressed?

How can YOU participate?
Follow the link in an email you received on March 31.
Completing the survey will take approximately 30 minutes.

Everyone that participates will be entered in a drawing for various prizes including an iPad, various gift certificates, MSU apparel, suite tickets for JQH or Plaster Sports Complex, and much more.

Posted in Campus Focus, Diversity Initiatives | Comments Off

Bridge Springfield – Brother 2 Brother



Francine Pratt
For Immediate Release

Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother Program

Springfield, Missouri, April 7, 2014 — Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother Community Presentation!

On April 23, Diversity MODES presents the Bridge Springfield – Brother to Brother Program (B2B) to the Springfield community. B2B is a new program in Springfield that provides a system of support for males attending Missouri State University, Ozarks Technical Community College, Drury University, Evangel University, Southwest Baptist University and our Springfield Public Schools District high schools. The program is one of the newest chapters of the Student African American Brotherhood/Brother to Brother Program (SAAB/B2B).

The SAAB/B2B organization was established in 1990 by Dr. Tyrone Bledsoe in response to low African American male college attendance and graduation rates in the 1980s. Today, SAAB/B2B is open to men of any race and is focused on preparing the next generation to be globally competitive. Chapters have an option of using the name SAAB or B2B. Diversity MODES chose B2B because they want the program to be inclusive for the Springfield area high school and college students.

Today, SAAB/B2B has 280 chapters in 39 states with an 86% college graduation rate compared to the national average of 42% for African American males. The program offers professional advising and mentorship to assist the young men to excel academically, socially, culturally, spiritually, and in the community. In addition, one of the main objectives of SAAB/B2B is to help all members become role models for each other as well as for other males in their communities. SAAB/B2B also helps these young men become well prepared to enter the workforce of professionals and compete as positive contributors with the best.

Dr. Bledsoe, the founder and CEO of SAAB/B2B, has personally come to Springfield twice to work with the community and students who have been in training since January for leadership roles to ensure that the requirements of a SAAB/B2B chapter are aligned with the Bridge Springfield, B2B Program. At the 10th annual SAAB/B2B National Conference in Dearborn, Michigan last month, Dr. Bledsoe was quoted saying, “Now, once again, there is a sense of urgency surrounding the subject of education (in reference to President Obama’s announcement of My Brother’s Keeper as a critical US initiative). Since the beginning, our national conference has been about a call of action to break down the barriers between these culturally versatile groups and an opportunity for widespread engagement. Awareness leads to consensus building.”

Each chapter has an Executive Committee and a strategic plan with measurable goals that must be achieved every academic school year. Each member is required to create a five-year individual development plan that is monitored by their mentor. The chapter has student leadership with oversight by the Diversity MODES Council. Each chapter must have six required committees. For the Bridge Springfield Chapter, a minimum of one advisor and one mentor is assigned to each Committee Chair to provide immediate access for the needs of the students in leadership roles. The six committees are: Academics, Personal Development, Spiritual, Finance, Membership and Public Relations. The SAAB/B2B National Headquarters requires continuous assessment of the program with performance measures.

The Springfield community is encouraged to attend the “Bridge Springfield, B2B Program Presentation to the Community” to recognize the young men who are the founding members of this new program. Diversity MODES celebrates the start of a new beginning with the Brother to Brother Program on Wednesday, April 23 at the Missouri State University, Meyers Library, Room 101 from 7:00 to 8:30 P.M. B2B Membership applications will be available at this event. For more information, please contact Francine Pratt at fpratt@missouristate.edu or 916.541.1675.


Bridge Springfield, Brother to Brother delegation at the SAAB National Conference

Javeon England, Vikas Jagwani, David Valenciano, Dallas Duncan, Roy Hardy, Cadarrius Dotson and Derrick Johnson

Posted in Campus Focus, Community Focus, Diversity Perspectives, Multicultural Programs | 1 Comment

Office of Multicultural Programs Meet & Greet

On March 22, 2014, the Office of Multicultural Programs (OMP) partnered with the City of Springfield, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, Missouri Career Center and City Utilities to host a Meet and3 Greet event to connect diverse students to area employers. The event was held at the Missouri Career Center and transportation was provided for students to ensure access to the event.

Over 20 employers participated and approximately 30 students participated in the event to learn about job opportunities and possible student internships. This initiative supported goals of the OMP office to expose diverse students to job opportunities that should be considered to stay in Springfield after graduation from college, which also supports diversity initiatives for the partners that helped make the event a success.

Many students commented on how much they enjoyed the event because it was a mix of informal and formal interactions. The students enjoyed being able to have long conversations with the employers and learning more about the opportunities in Springfield. We hope that we can make this an annual event.

Posted in Community Focus, Diversity Perspectives, Multicultural Programs | Comments Off