Webster Speaks: Dialogues on RACE, EQUITY and INCLUSION | Webster University

Webster Speaks: Dialogues on RACE, EQUITY and INCLUSION

This is a time of racial reckoning in America. Webster University is again taking the lead in confronting the issues facing our nation and finding solutions.

Join us every other week for the livestream speaker series, "Webster Speaks: Dialogues on RACE, EQUITY and INCLUSION." Vincent C. Flewellen, chief diversity officer, sits down with thought leaders and prominent voices from the wider community and within the University to discuss issues surrounding systemic racism.

We want to hear your voice!  Audience members are invited to submit questions in advance or during the event using #WebsterSpeaks on Twitter.

All of the sessions are free and open to the public. Recordings are made available afterward on Webster's YouTube channel.

Upcoming Episodes

Episode 11: “Experts Who Are Leading Workplace Diversity”
Special Guests: Angela Cody, Desiree S. Coleman, Clinton Normore and Valerie Patton Live Broadcast Date: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 7 p.m. CST (GMT -6)

How can workplaces build diversity at a time of shrinking workforces and racial divisions? The role of the chief diversity officer (CDO) and diversity and inclusion (DEI) has never been more important.

Join Vincent C. Flewellen, Webster's chief diversity officer, as he talks with four professional colleagues: Angela Cody, CDE, director at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals and leader of the St. Louis Diversity & Inclusion Consortium; Desiree S. Coleman, MPA, diversity and inclusion executive at a Fortune 50 company and founder of the women’s empowerment group, The Queen Within; Clinton Normore, MBA, vice president of diversity and inclusion at A.T. Still University in Mesa, Ariz.; and Valerie Patton, MA, MSW, senior vice president of inclusion and workforce development strategies; executive director, St. Louis Business Diversity Initiative.

The Zoom livestream will run from 7 to 8 p.m. CST, Wednesday, Dec. 2. Registration is free and open to the public. Post questions for the panel on Twitter using #WebsterSpeaks or while registering.

Register Here

Leaders in Building Workplace Diversity


Past Recorded Episodes

Episode 10: "My Journey Toward Becoming an Antiracist"
Special Guests: Rev. Wendy Bruner, Rob Good, Jackson Hotaling and Hannah Verity
Live Broadcast Date: Wednesday, Nov. 11 – 7 p.m. CST (GMT -6)

What role should white people take in advocating for racial and social justice? How does one go from being nonracist to antiracist? Join Vincent C. Flewellen, Webster's chief diversity officer, as he talks with four white St. Louis social justice activists: The Rev. Wendy Bruner, pastor of Peace United Church of Christ in Webster Groves; Rob Good, a UMSL adjunct assistant professor and member of the Witnessing Whiteness facilitation team; Jackson Hotaling, a volunteer with Faith for the Sake of All; and Hannah Verity, a Witnessing Whiteness 2019 participant and director of Webster’s Global Program Development office.


Episode 9: "Activism Through Art"
Special Guests: Dail Chambers, Cbabi Bayoc
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Oct. 28

Activism and the arts have long been interwoven into the fabric of the Black experience in America. Artists continue harnessing their talents as a form of activism as well as self-expression during this time of racial reflection. Join Vincent C. Flewellen, Webster’s chief diversity officer, as he sits down with two St. Louis artists: Cbabi Bayoc, an internationally known visual artist and illustrator who celebrates family, children, music and more in signature bold, joyful colors; and Dail Chambers, an award-winning multimedia artist, Reiki master and community educator.

Resource links:


Episode 8: "Getting a Seat at the (Corporate) Table"
Special Guests: Marvin Anderson, Mark Darrell, Jovita Foster, Sumit Verma and Atul Sharma
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Oct. 14

How do companies make diversity a meaningful core value? What is the best way to recruit and retain diverse talent? Vincent C. Flewellen, Webster’s chief diversity officer, discussed these topics with corporate leaders and Webster trustees Marvin Anderson, senior vice president and private client advisor at Bank of America; Mark Darrell, senior vice president and chief legal and compliance officer at Spire Inc.; Jovita Foster, vice president and general counsel at Drury Hotels; Atul Sharma, chief human resources officer at EthosEnergy; and Sumit Verma, senior vice president, Commercial Manufacturing, at Iovance Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Resources related to this episode:


Episode 7: “The Power of Street Activism”
Special Guests: Alexis Templeton, Tory Russell, and Alisha Sonnier
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Sept. 30

The 2014 Ferguson protests united bodies and voices against racism and ignited a movement that continues across the world. Join Vincent C. Flewellen, Webster University Chief Diversity Officer and host, for “The Power of Street Activism,” the seventh episode of Webster Speaks. Hear from key local organizers Alexis Templeton, co-founder of Millennial Activists United; Tory Russell, mission director of the International Black Freedom Alliance; and Alisha Sonnier, president of the activist group Tribe X.


Episode 6: “Coming of Age in the Black Lives Matter Era”
Special Guests: Webster University Suggs Scholars - Student Panel
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Sept. 16

What is it like to grow up in an age of racial reckoning? Host Vincent C. Flewellen sits down with a panel of Webster University Suggs Scholars. These academically talented undergraduates of color are recipients of a scholarship named after Donald M. Suggs, publisher of the St. Louis American newspaper. They talk about what it’s like to be a Black collegian today, the many avenues to activism, and their plans for the future.


Episode 5: “Black Athletes: Powerful Voices”
Special Guest: Jackie Joyner-Kersee, six-time Olympic medalist and founder, Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Sept. 2

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is considered one of the greatest female athletes of all time and one of the greatest philanthropists in the St. Louis metro region. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation creates a haven and learning-rich environment for young people in her hometown of East St. Louis, Illinois. Listen as she discusses Black athletes and different paths of activism with Vincent C. Flewellen, Webster’s chief diversity officer.


Episode 4: “How the Media Cover Race”
Special Guest: Carol Daniel, and Eric Deggans
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Aug. 19

Are the media portraying protests against police brutality fairly? Are Black voices being amplified in news and entertainment? Carol Daniel, KMOX news anchor, columnist and author will discuss this important topic along with Eric Deggans, NPR TV critic and author of “Race Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation.” 


Episode 3: “Racism and Mental Health”
Special Guest: Jameca Woody Cooper, PhD, psychologist
Originally Broadcast: Wednesday, Aug. 5

From racial profiling to police brutality and lack of opportunities, institutional racism is impacting the mental health of African Americans. Join counseling psychologist and Webster faculty member Jameca Woody Cooper, PhD, MA, as she sits down with Webster Chief Diversity Officer Vincent C. Flewellen to discuss "Racism and Mental Health." 

Click here to visit Dr. Cooper's Facebook page.

Resource Links


Episode 2: “Lessons from Ferguson”
Special Guests: Hon. Ella Jones and Michael P. McMillan
Originally Broadcast: July 22, 2020

The Hon. Ella Jones, the first Black and first female mayor of Ferguson, discussed her city as a symbol of both injustice and hope. Michael McMillan, president and CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, talked about the Urban League’s local programs and progress in bridging St. Louis’ racial divide.


Episode 1: “What is the Meaning of Freedom Right Now?”
Special Guest: Dr. Donald M. Suggs
Originally Broadcast: July 8, 2020

The first episode, “What is the Meaning of Freedom Right Now?”, followed the Fourth of July holiday. Flewellen interviewed Dr. Donald M. Suggs, publisher and executive editor of The St. Louis American, Missouri’s largest weekly newspaper and a leading voice of the region’s African American community since 1928.


Show Host

Vincent C. Flewellen, MSW
Chief Diversity Officer

Vincent C. Flewellen portraitVincent C. Flewellen joined Webster University in October 2018. Reporting directly to the Chancellor, he provides key leadership for the University’s core value of advancing diversity and inclusion as part of the educational mission through the University’s network of domestic and international locations.

With almost two decades of experience weaving diversity, inclusion and equity into the culture of education in the St. Louis area, Flewellen most recently served as Director of Equity & Inclusion at The College School in Webster Groves. Before taking his role at The College School, he taught in the Ladue School District and for Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School. He also served as Center Director of the University City Children’s Center. Additionally, Flewellen served as an adjunct professor at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis from 2012-2018, and he served as a consultant to Washington University in St. Louis in 2006 and 2007. For the past 17 years, he has served as a consultant on diversity and inclusion issues for a variety of schools and organizations, including: the Kirkwood School District; the John Burroughs School; the Forsyth School; the Cochran Community Center; and FOCUS St. Louis.

Flewellen has also served as the Director of Development for St. Louis non-profit Neighborhood Houses (now known as Unleashing Potential). Flewellen served as Managing Director of Program for Teach For America-St. Louis and he was the Speakers Bureau Coordinator for the Missouri Coalition for Lifesaving Cures.

Flewellen holds a Master of Social Work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis and his BA in education is from Maryville University.


Room Host

Earl A. McCoy, Jr., MBA

Earl A. McCoy, Jr. portraitEarl McCoy is a regional recruitment and retention coordinator for Webster University in the National Capital Region. He oversees graduation, social media platforms, Business to Business (B2B) corporate partnerships, business to consumer (B2C) outreach and community engagements. At Webster’s Main Campus in St. Louis, Earl collaborates and assists with a variety of social media efforts, virtual events, and podcasts. He serves as moderator and room host of Webster Speaks, welcoming the virtual audience and fielding questions for the host and guests.

A native of Hamden, Connecticut, Earl earned a double bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications and an MBA in Human Resource Management from AIbertus Magnus College in New Haven, Connecticut. As a student, Earl honed his leadership abilities and heart for social justice in many ways. He completed internships at the New Haven Superior Court and the Labor and Public Employees Committee of the General Assembly. During his Assembly internship, Earl was selected lead intern and received two citations for outstanding dedication.

Earl previously worked as a teacher, counselor and professional course instructor at a New Haven YMCA. He also formed a group, Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.), that mentored at-risk students, performed community volunteer work, and promoted inclusivity. Before joining Webster’s staff, he was an admissions recruiter the Graduate Institute in Bethany, Connecticut.

In addition to his work at Webster, Earl serves as a member-at-large on the Virginia Advisory Council on Military Education (VA-ACME). He is youth president at Making a Difference Foundation, Inc., and volunteers as a youth soccer coach in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.



Launch of ‘Webster Speaks’ Part of Several Initiatives on RACE, EQUITY and INCLUSION
As part of on-going efforts to underscore its commitment to social justice issues, this summer Webster University is launching a virtual speaker series...