Roundtable to discuss education equity, led by former Lee’s Summit superintendent

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A meeting Wednesday night in the 18th and Vine District will focus on equity in education, and despite stepping down from his role as Lee's Summit superintendent, Dennis Carpenter will lead the talk.

The Roundtable events began to bring the community together for conversations around key topics that happen in and around Kansas City.

Now on Wednesday night, the second women's Roundtable will be held at the Gem Theater, addressing children and education.

"We as citizens, particularly here in Kansas City, owe it to ourselves to make sure that all kids have equal platforms in the school system," co-host Kiona Sinks said.

Equity in education is the topic of Wednesday night's discussion, and Carpenter will be the keynote speaker.

About 250 people are expected to attend the roundtable, including educators from school districts across the metro, teachers, public officials and community members who are interested in the topic.

"We know that the foundation has been the backdrop of what occurred in Lee Summit and our own backyard, but we know that that is a microcosm of what we`re seeing in education across the nation," co-host Nicole Jacobs-Silvey said.

In July, the former Lee's Summit superintendent resigned after two contentious years leading the school district.

In January, a photo surfaced of Carpenter making an offensive gesture with his finger. Then a lawsuit filed against Carpenter by a district executive and controversy over how to implement an education equity initiative led the School Board to pay Carpenter $750,000 to resign.

But before his resignation, the Lee's Summit School Board approved equity training that Carpenter championed. It's a cause he's still promoting as the keynote speaker of the Roundtable.

"It's been 50 years since Brown v. the Board of Education, and we continue to talk about the disparity for children of color within our school systems," Jacobs-Silvey said. "How do we change that and how do we turn our systems to look at systemic oppression and make that improvement?"

"We represent all children," Sinks added. "I think that's why we`'re having this conversation. It's not just about one demographic of people. It's about collectively. No matter your sexual orientation, color, gender we want all equity for kids because kids don't come with labels."

For more information on Wednesday night's roundtable, visit this site.

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