Editor’s note: The Junior League of Kansas City — through its C3KC conference — is an advertiser with Startland News.
Fostering conversations about the most-pressing concerns facing communities not only helps expose the best of Kansas City innovation, said Becky Haddican, it also serves as a catalyst for even greater collaboration in the future.
Now in its sixth year, the C3KC conference — a one-day gathering built for such community dialogue and presented by the Junior League of Kansas City — returns March 23 to Union Station.
“The Junior League saw a gap in this kind of event that brought together these three very different sectors — corporate, community, and civic,” said Haddican, a Junior League member and co-chair of C3KC. “I think the best part of this event — having been to it a few times — is the energy of the day. It’s a day full of people who care so much about the community and anything they can do to help make it better.”
Panel conversations for C3KC feature such topics of national significance as economic inclusion and health equity, she continued, but with a local perspective.
“We’re showcasing local experts in their field to see what they’re doing about these topics or the research that they’re doing or the good work that they’re doing in the community,” she noted. “I think it’s a really great example of how to highlight the best in Kansas City and the innovative things that we are doing.”
An “Enabling Economic Inclusion” panel — featuring Vince Clark, vice president of business development for Creative Planning and co-founder and vice chair of Pathway Financial Education; Terrell “TJ” Jolly, founder of Integrity Capital Management; Pedro Zamora, executive director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation with moderator Jocelyn Evans, University of Missouri-Kansas City associate dean and Henry W. Bloch Endowed chair of finance — will focus on building wealth through education and entrepreneurship.
Click here to purchase tickets for C3KC.
Although the topics are weighty, Haddican added, the conference is focused on solutions.
“We focus on making sure that every person comes away from every panel they attend knowing what they can do to spark change on that topic,” she explained. “Sometimes sparking change is as small as awareness, like understanding something better than they did before and educating their friends and family. Sometimes it’s volunteering. Sometimes it’s how to support them if they want to support these causes.”
Click here to read about the 2022 conversation on the racial wealth gap or here to check out coverage of a C3KC discussion on the equitable development of neighborhoods.
After past conferences, Haddican shared, one nonprofit organization was able to connect with the right people to help them get funding to expand their operations; and one committee member was so compelled by the topic of children’s mental health that she met with an expert from the panel and then started her own operation to raise awareness around the topic.
The full list of scheduled panel sessions at C3KC 2022 includes:
• Early Care and Education: Challenges and Their Consequences — Current challenges like pay, safety, and a decreasing number of caregivers and its impact on childcare.
• Early Care and Education: New Thinking for Age-Old Problems — Innovative approaches to solving childcare gaps to benefit the full community and promote economic development.
• Enabling Economic Inclusion: Building Wealth Through Education and Entrepreneurship — Discussion of tools and resources available in the metropolitan area to help people of all backgrounds bridge the wealth gap and build equity.
• Mental Health: Caring for Our Caregivers — Addressing the mental health needs for our teachers and caregivers, who have been substantially impacted by COVID.
• Mental Health: Our Children — Children’s healthcare isn’t comprehensive without support for mental health services. A conversation around the issue’s urgency and how to ensure that families find necessary services
• Reskilling Revolution: Long-Life Training and Learning — New strategies to help employers both retain the employees they have and recruit talent for the skills and jobs of the future.
• Houselessness: It Takes a Village; Harnessing Community Efforts Through Partnerships — Examples of community collaboration from across the KC metro and successful strategies to end houselessness.
• Health Equity: Innovative Approaches to Improve Pregnancy, Birth, and Postpartum Care For Women of Color and Black Women — Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes and experience postpartum challenges. What changes can be made to dramatically improve these outcomes?
• Health Equity: Social Determinants of Health — Kansas City area health leaders discuss resource allocation, risk identification, research collaboration and improving healthcare outcomes for underserved communities.
• Philanthropy: Evolving Priorities — Philanthropic support for addressing social issues is happening with new and bolder steps. What does this support look like?
Click here to register for C3KC.
Catalysts for change
At each C3KC, the Junior League honors a local changemaker as the recipient of its Branton/Hall Community Collaborator Award. This year’s honoree is Dr. Michael Weaver, who is recognized for his commitment and leadership in evolving health care equity and clinical diversity in Kansas City and beyond.
The award is named in honor of members Shawsie Branton and Adele Hall, who both exemplified doing great things in the community and sparking a change, said Susan Moss, president of the local Junior League.
“In their honor, we wanted to honor other people in the community — not league members — that are doing the same kind of fabulous things,” she added.
Weaver — who is a clinical professor emeritus at the UMKC School of Medicine and is recently retired after serving over 40 years at St. Luke’s Hospital as an emergency medicine physician — founded Mission Vision Project KC, a nonprofit that provides mentoring and opportunities for minority students in the field of healthcare.
“He saw a gap and has really worked to make sure that minorities are represented in the medical field,” Haddican said.
During his time at St. Luke’s, he was known caring for victims of elderly/child abuse, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and trauma, she noted.
“He really is a leader in this space and making sure that this kind of compassionate and comprehensive care is possible,” she added.
Amanda Ripley — author of “High Conflict” and “The Smartest Kids in the World” — is slated to be the keynote speaker and her focus will be on the role conflict plays in collaboration.
C3KC is organized solely by Junior League volunteers, according to Moss, who said the organization has been a catalyst for making a positive impact in the community for 109 years now.
“The beauty of this conference is really that we’re taking our mission (to advance women’s leadership for meaningful community impact through volunteer action, collaboration, and training) and we’re sharing our mission with the community in furthering sparking change for these issues,” she explained, “while we’re also raising money to support our mission.”