KC Race & Equity Initiative: Systems, Institutions & Communities



Join us as we explore ways to create change at an institutional level. Participants look at how institutions maintain systemic racism through controlling power and access. Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear from organizers and activists about local strategies to address and dismantle institutional racism.


  • Tuesday, February 26, 2019
  • Doors Open: 5:30 p.m.
  • Program Begins: 6:30 p.m.
  • Gem Theater, 1615 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108


  • General admission will then open to the public on Monday Feb. 4.
  • Those who registered for the original date, Jan. 16, and the first rescheduled date, Jan. 30, will have immediate access to register for the new date, Feb. 26. A unique registration link has been sent to those registrants emails – be sure to check your spam folders.


Local parking lots are located at:

  • 18th & Vine
  • 18th & The Paseo
  • 18th & Lydia
  • Rear of Museums at 18th & Vine (E. 17th Terrace)

Street parking is available throughout the District. All parking is free.




PaKou is Principal of Tseng Development Group, a consulting firm that provides lectures, workshops, organizational development, transformative leadership coaching, and grassroots strategy development designed to build racial equity and create systems change. She also spent three years at 18MillionRising.org (18MR) in the roles of Campaign Director and Executive Director. PaKou holds 20 years of anti-racism organizing experience, along with digital campaign experience as a Field Organizer with MoveOn.org and as Senior Campaign Director of Reproductive Rights and Culture at UltraViolet. Born and raised in the Midwest, she takes great pride representing AAPIs living in the nation’s midsection.



Nick is an activist, pastor and performer in Kansas City. He is the founder and organizer of The Open Table, a progressive Christian church in midtown that seeks to be a place of peace and reconciliation in a city divided. In addition to serving as the organizer of The Open Table, he is the co-founder and project manager for The Open Table Antiracism Trainings, Coordinating Committee member for the Missouri Poor People’s Campaign, and board member of Cherith Brook Catholic Worker. He has over 10 years experience doing anti-poverty, anti-racism, and nonviolent communication work, and is active in a number of local peace and justice groups. He is married to Sarah Dunne Pickrell and is the proud parent of two terriers, Socks and Rocky.



Raymond is an immigration lawyer at the Garcia Immigration Law Firm, LLC in Kansas City, Kansas. Raymond plays an active role in the immigration fight locally, serving on the Hispanic Development Fund of Greater Kansas City and the ACLU of Kansas, and recently termed off the Reach Healthcare Foundation board of Directors. Raymond previously worked for former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, advocating for the successful passage of Kansas’ in-state tuition law in 2004. He then went on to work in Washington, DC for the National Immigration Law Center as a fellow of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. Raymond lobbied in DC for the passage of the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform package and the DREAM Act, worked to fight the rise of anti-immigrant state legislation, while organizing and facilitating the “United We Dream Coalition,” to fight for immigrant student rights.



With over 20 years of experience, Stephenie’s work has focused on addressing the effects of poverty and oppression. In doing so, community revitalization, change management and diversity, equity & inclusion have taken center stage. As co-founder and managing partner of Sophic Solutions, LLC, Stephenie is the firm’s lead authority on executive project management, organizational structure & design and operations improvement. She has led a number of efforts to align not-for-profit policy with community investments, with a special emphasis on large-scale transformation. In her previous role as the Executive Director of the Linwood YMCA, her team’s efforts resulted in the successful completion of a $12 million capital campaign.



Annie (she/her) is the Director of Early Education and Parent Success at Turn the Page KC. In her role she focuses on collective action and systems change to address third grade reading proficiency for KC kids. She previously helped to found Bambini Creativi, revitalized a local home visitation initiative and worked with a group of Midtown neighbors to prevent the forced displacement of hundreds of Section 8 residents. Annie is an expert in early education and learning environments with a passion for social justice and ending multigenerational poverty. When she is not working, she can be found cooking with her three kids and trying to find the bottom of the laundry pile.