Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and Associate Professor of Law
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Today, my diversity and inclusion work centers on fostering a law school community that is welcoming to all students,” she writes. “Additionally, I want to develop and nurture cultural fluency in my students so that can serve their clients well.”
Thompson, a member of the Dean’s List who served as President of the Black Law Students Association at Washington University, went on to work at a Washington D.C. law firm where she handled product liability suits related to the diet drug “Fen-Phen”. By 2002, she’d moved to Bryan Cave where she litigated employment discrimination suits o
Among her many volunteer activities, Thompson has been involved with the Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial & Ethnic Fairness since 201 n behalf of employers. She also developed the office’s diversity programming series and training program. She continued to deal with civil rights and employment discrimination matters through law firms in Kansas City and Overland Park, Kan. before coming to UMKC as director of affirmative action and Title IX Coordinator in 2015. She assumed her present DEI role last year. 7.
Who has most inspired you in your work for Diversity & Inclusion, and why?
My family inspires my diversity and inclusion work. My parents grew up in the segregated south, and my grandmother Amelia Roberson was a housekeeper for well-to-do white families. She did not finish high school because she married so young, but she was determined to send her children to college. My mother graduated from an HBCU and moved to Kansas City where she married my father who is also an HBCU grad. I am the product of these hard-working individuals who experienced explicit discrimination on a daily basis but never gave up. Our country has come a long way since then, but we must do more to dismantle the systemic barriers that my family members faced as they tried to achieve the American Dream.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you:
Most people don’t know about some of the hobbies that occupy my time when I’m not working. First, I am a die-hard sports fan, and I particularly like the Kansas City Royals. Even when the Royals are in last place (like they are right now), I watch every televised game. Each year, my family and I attend several games, and we love to tailgate!