To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Kansas City, Kansas Rotary Club welcomed several accomplished women as speakers at its weekly meetings.
On March 2, 2021, the Club was joined by Dia Wall, Edward R. Murrow and Mid-America Emmy award winning anchor at KSHB Channel 41 Action News in Kansas City.  Ms. Wall began her remarks by sharing that she is passionate about equity.  She cautioned that we must be careful about how we report or chronicle history and explained how she exercises that care in her role as a news anchor.  Ms. Wall emphasized that you should listen to everyone and should not require that someone look or act a certain way before valuing that person’s words or actions.
On March 9, 2021, Sharla Smith, Ph.D., MPH, an assistant professor at The University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City and founder of Kansas Birth Equity Network (K-BEN), presented to the Club.  Dr. Smith’s current research focuses on maternal and infant health disparities.  She explained to members that societal factors such as poverty and residential segregation, together with unconscious biases, lead to race-based disparities in both infant mortality and maternal health.  The mission of K-BEN is to eliminate health disparities by increasing awareness of the high rate of African American maternal and infant mortality and connecting individuals with local resources.
On March 16, 2021, our speaker was Teneca Clark, General Manager of Production for Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company and Regional Vice President.  Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company is the local Coca-Cola bottler for Kansas and Missouri as well as for parts of Nebraska, Illinois, and Oklahoma.  Mentioning that she works in a male-dominated field, Ms. Clark acknowledged the many role models whom she credits with leading her toward a career in science.  Her stated goal is to “change the default” in the workplace.  For young people to pursue careers in STEM related fields, they need to see people who look like them in those roles.
On March 23, 2021, the Club heard from Robin C. Henry, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of History at Wichita State University, who has written numerous articles and a couple of books focusing on her primary area of study, gender and sexuality and legal and constitutional rights.  Dr. Henry’s presentation focused on women’s suffrage and the passage of the 19th Amendment, in honor of the 100th Anniversary of its passage which occurred just last year.
Closing out the month, Club member Ashley Adorante led Club members in a fun evening of Virtual Bingo!