Last Wednesday, scholars from the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and the UMKC Office of Diversity and Inclusion, along with community members from Kansas City, met in the School of Education to view the film entitled To Light a Candle, by esteemed filmmaker Maziar Bahari, and to engage with panel presenters Payam Ansari, a UMKC graduate student in electrical engineering, and Dr. Mohmad Sabet, a pediatrician. This film is part of a campaign that is taking place across the world to bring attention to the religious persecution of members of the Baha’i Faith in Iran. Both Mr. Ansari and Dr. Sabet had experienced this persecution first hand. Dr. Sabet spoke of many injustices that he and his family had experienced, including how he lost his job as a doctor for the Iranian government, how he was jailed, and how he had to smuggle his children across the Iranian border and into Turkey in order for them to come to the United States to receive higher education. Mr. Ansari spoke of being denied entrance into higher education because of his religion and completing his first year of undergraduate school in the homes of laid off Baha’i professors in what has come to be known as the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education. Dr. Susan Wilson, UMKC’s Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion gave opening remarks and participated in a lively panel discussion after the viewing and presentations along with our own Dr. Kindel Nash, as well as Dr. Martha Rabbani, Dr. Sabet, and Mr. Ansari. My thanks to Dr. Nash her work in having the SOE co-host this presentation.
- Fiesta on the Lawn, Thursday, April 30th, from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on the SOE patio/lawn to recognize our graduating seniors and another successful semester of work for all. SOE students, faculty and staff are invited; please RSVP. Student Excellence awardees will be honored at 4:00 p.m.
- “A Dialogue about Implicit Bias,” Wednesday, May 6th from 11 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in room 307. Deth Im from Communities Creating Opportunities will present this workshop, the second in our series of “Difficult Conversations and Honest Discussions: Equity, Justice and You.” RSVP. A light lunch will be served at 11 a.m.
- Faculty and Staff Excellence Award presentations, Wednesday, May 6th, from 1-1:15 p.m. in room 307. Please help us recognize your deserving colleagues.
The semester is rapidly winding down; have a great week!