Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council


Diversity Symposium Event featuring the DEI Council 

About the Council

The Diversity council was established in 2001 by Dr. Reaner Shannon. The council adopted the full name Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council in the Spring of 2020. It was established to create a diverse, nondiscriminatory learning and working environment for the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. It was charged with promoting cultural competency, awareness, inclusion, respect and equity through education, training, programming, and advancement. The Council hosts a Diversity Symposium bringing together all departments across the School of Medicine to create goals and recognize existing efforts towards more diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments and work execution.

Diversity Definition:

The School of Medicine believes that a vibrant and diverse institutional climate is essential to providing medical education that promotes the effective delivery of health care in diverse communities. The School embraces a broad definition of diversity that is comprised of , but is not limited, to differences in racial and ethnic origin, socioeconomic background, rural and urban communities, geographic origins, academic backgrounds, as well as both men and women who can contribute to the process of medical education through different personal experiences such as overcoming hardship, demonstrating extensive involvement within the community, possessing multilingual abilities, and /or exhibiting different life experiences that may contribute to achieving diversity.

Diversity Symposium Event in collaboration with all the departments of the SOM 

Council Membership

Council Leadership

  • Chair: Ayanda Chakawa, PhD, Psychologist, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, CMH
  • Vice Chair: Wail Hassan, PhD, M(ASCP),  Associate Professor of Medical Microbiology, UMKC
  • Tyler Smith, MD, MPH, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, UMKC
  • Doris Agwu, MPH, Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, UMKC
  • Raquel McCommon, MA.Ed., Coordinator of DEI Strategic Initiatives, UMKC

Council Appointed, Elected and Ex-Officio Members

  • Russell Anderson, MPA, Senior Programs Manager, HR & EDI, TMC
  • Sara Anderson, MD, Psychiatry Resident, UNITED Representative
  • Deborah Rivera-Hernandez, LMSA Student Representative
  • Charlie Chase, AA Graduate Student Representative
  • Adnan Choudhury, MD, Docent, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, UMKC
  • Emma Connelly, LGBTQIA Health District Alliance Student Representative Kaylajenna Dobin, LGBTQIA Health District Alliance Representative
  • Megan Evans, BA/MD elected Year 1&2 Student Representative
  • Sara Gardner, MD, FAAP, FACP, Associate Dean, Graduate Medical Education, UMKC
  • Sayra Nieto Gomez, LMSA Student Representative
  • Jordan Grimmett, SNMA Student Representative
  • Sahiba Grover, PA elected Graduate Student Representative
  • Zuri Hudson, MD, Pediatrics Resident, UNITED Representative
  • Raneem Issawi, BA/MD elected Student Representative
  • Girwan Khadka, PhD, Assistant Professor, UMKC, Pediatric Psychologist, CMH
  • Angellar Manguvo, PhD, Instructional Designer, Staff Representative, UMKC
  • Johana Mejias-Beck, MD, Med/Peds Resident, UNITED Representative Daniel Oh, BA/MD elected Student Representative
  • Nikhila Pokala, AMWA Student Representative
  • Neha Potta, APAMSA Student Representative
  • Shanice Robinson, MD, OBGYN Resident, UNITED Representative
  • James Shackelford, Staff Representative, UMKC
  • Aniesa Slack, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Community and Family Medicine Department, UMKC
  • Gary Sutkin, MD, Professor, Associate Dean Of Women’s Health, TMC
  • Zumi Urueta, BS, Admissions and Recruitment, UMKC
  • Michael Weaver, MD, FACEP CDM, Medical Director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, St. Luke’s

Council Committees

Student Recruitment, Retention, Success Committee

A standing committee charged with the development and implementation recruitment, retention and success strategies to engage students around specific needs and inequities. These strategies support the DEI Strategic plan and overall mission of the School of Medicine in providing equal representation and meaningful experiences that support marginalized identities and their equitable advancement.

Trainee Recruitment, Retention, and Success Committee

A standing committee charged with development and implementation recruitment, retention and success strategies to engage trainees around specific needs and inequities. These strategies support the DEI Strategic plan and overall mission of the School of Medicine in providing equal representation and meaningful experiences that support marginalized identities and their equitable advancement.

Faculty Recruitment, Retention, Success Committee

A standing committee charged with development and implementation recruitment, retention and success strategies to engage faculty around specific needs and inequities. These strategies support the DEI Strategic plan and overall mission of the School of Medicine in providing equal representation and meaningful experiences that support marginalized identities and their equitable advancement.

Staff Recruitment, Retention, Success Committee

A standing committee charged with development and implementation recruitment, retention and success strategies to engage staff around specific needs and inequities. These strategies support the DEI Strategic plan and overall mission of the School of Medicine in providing equal representation and meaningful experiences that support marginalized identities and their equitable advancement.