Workshop Options

The workshops being presented at the Baum Symposium reflect a diversity of practitioners, experts and professionals from various walks of life and fields of work. Each workshop is offered to create an entrée point for constructive engagement of the urgent moral and ethical dilemmas that we, as members of this civic body, face in the current political climate.

Workshops, from a variety of professions and fields, are represented herein (politics, corporate life, education, media, and beyond). The workshops were solicited to invite explorations of the three major areas of focus of the 2018 Baum Symposium: the role of truth and facts in public life, the significance of ethical standards for expectations of those in elected office, and the civic climate relative to the experiences of communities of color, immigrant groups and religious minorities.


Creating a Culture of Excellence and Civility, J. Scott Raeker 

This interactive presentation will focus on how we each play a role in creating a culture of excellence and civility. Participants will engage with research-based strategies to enhance core leadership competencies with areas of focus that will include intentional relationship building, ground rules for engagement, leadership competencies necessary for impact and optimal performance based on clear communication of expectations, purposeful habits, pro-active mindset and accountability of self and others.


Culturally Responsive Care: An Imperative in the 21st Century, Rich A. Salas & co-presenters: Des Moines University Medical School Students

Saying that we will treat all individuals with dignity, respect and compassion, is one thing, but what does “Do No Harm” look like? What does it sound like? How is it carried out?  Does this process start with learning about the “other” or does it start with me?

The rapidly changing demographics of the United States and the changing demographics taking place in our respective communities requires us to be proactive in facilitating conversations that will challenge us to examine our own cultural biases and stereotypes. This workshop will utilize the Kaiser Permanente “Touching the Dream” Diversity Health Series short film that focuses on African American health and culture. The film will be used to frame a conversation about the importance of understanding historical events in the African American community that contributes to the mistrust of the healthcare system. The workshop will also discuss the impact personal biases have on judgment, communication and healthcare provider/patient interactions. Workshop attendees will be engaged in discussions that focus on how healthcare providers can improve the delivery of culturally responsive care.  


Why is Equity and Inclusion Critical for Business Success? Heather Schott 

Have you ever heard the question “What’s the business case for Diversity & Inclusion?”  In corporate environments, most ideas are met with a challenge to define the business need.  What if we stop to asking “What’s the business case against it?”  Come join a conversation where we reframe the challenges faced in corporations around diversity and inclusion.  We’ll disrupt thinking and explore best practices that lead to building a culture of Trust, Inclusion and Empathy.


Journalism, the Fourth Estate, Linley Sanders

Journalism is considered the Fourth Estate—a powerful voice in the political system that was designed to operate free from scandal. In the modern political system, amid cries of “fake news” and ethical controversy surrounding legacy organizations, it remains the burden of journalists to establish ethical boundaries even as they are put to the test. The challenge remains that each person’s definition of moral responsibility is determined by their own experiences, backgrounds, and values. This discussion will focus on the role of free media in the modern political system and how to find and uphold ethical journalism in an age where it is constantly questioned.
Lessons Learned from the C.O.R.E., Petra Lange & C.O.R.E. Students

Description: This session will examine the benefits and challenges of forming student-led groups in urban public and private high schools to address the disproportionate representation of students of color in Advanced Placement classes. While describing the growth of the Community of Racial Equity (C.O.R.E), we will be sharing the many lessons we’ve learned about mitigating stereotype threat in classes, providing emotional and academic support to students, connecting with the larger community through service, and ensuring student members succeed in their post-secondary endeavors.

Let’s Talk: What I Want to Ask About Race, But Am Scared, Leslie Herod & Saira Rao 

Saira Rao
Leslie Herod

A project begun in Colorado after the presenters repeatedly heardwhite women, in particular, 

express outrage and heartbreak about the current state of open racism in this country combined with an inability about how to talk about this with their girlfriends of color. Leslie Herod and Saira Rao responded by saying to such women “So….here we are. We opening up our homes to you to ask anything and everything about race. We’ll provide ground rules and a safe space for candid questions and provocative conversations. We hope you can join us.” Herod and Rao bring that workshop  to the  2018 Baum Symposium in order to keep this urgent  dialogue going.


Theology in the Public Sphere: Solidarity in a Pluralistic Society, Teresa L. Smallwood

This workshop will focus upon the rudimentary aspects of a public theology for the present age. It will answer the question: “What’s Love Got to Do with It?” By establishing the theo-ethical foundation of love as justice, participants will examine several case studies that hold in tension the conundrum faced by so many Americans sociologically, economically, and politically. It will guide the participants in a critical discussion of what it means to live one’s faith out loud. In the context of the present American political climate, the voices of those grounded in a theology of hope and an ethics of love are vital for curating the future in which our children can feel safe in their schools, our working class citizens can make a living wage to sustain their families, and our elders can expect to live in the comfort, security, and good health – the provisions they worked hard to accumulate through many years of investing their labor in the economy of America. This workshop will challenge traditional notions of what is public and what is theology. 


The Stage is an Alter: Writing as a Form of Healing, Emily Lang & Kristopher Rollins
Kristopher Rollins
Emily Lang
Workshop participants will use the art forms of spoken word poetry and performance to grapple with the complexity of their
 identities and the ways in which writing can be used as a tool for expression and healing.

The Tough Task of Citizenship: How to Be Informed and Involved in US Politics, Peter McLaughlin & Annie Petersen

Peter McLaughlin
Annie Petersen

As American citizens, we all share a common right: The ability to choose our political representatives and hold them accountable once they enter office. With this awesome right comes the important responsibility of staying informed and engaged with the political process. When it comes to finding essential information on officials and candidates, Vote Smart considers the questions that help you be an informed voter and engaged citizen.


We the Corporations, Not We the People, Saira Rao 

Reflections of a first-time of a candidate currently running for Congress in the 2018 election cycle.

Saira Rao writes, “In the short time I’ve been a congressional candidate, I’ve learned one horrible thing: corporations and dark money organizations have bought both the Democratic and Republicans parties. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand–when you get paid, you owe that person something in return. So when Big Pharma, the NRA, Oil and Natural Gas, Real Estate Developers pay you MILLIONS of dollars to get into public officer, YOU OWE THEM, not every day Americans. It’s no wonder Congress isn’t pushing for Medicare for All (big Pharma), or gun control (NRA), or weaning us off of fossil fuel dependency (oil and natural gas). . . If we want our government to work for us, WE NEED TO DEMAND OUR REPRESENTATIVES STOP TAKING THIS DARK MONEY.” This discussion will give participants a chance to talk with a congressional candidate about how she’s doing that and how those of us concrened about our political system can help.


What does it take to run for office, anyway?, Jennifer Glover Konfrst
Description: How many of us have wondered what it takes to run for office? How many of us have imagined what we might do, say or accomplish if it was us in an elected office? How many of us have found ourselves inspired or frustrated by government (whether local, state or federal) and remembered the claim of this democracy to a government for and by the people? Come hear first hand about the journey of running for the Iowa state legislature, while remaining a committed professor, business owner and mother. Jennifer Konfrst will share her story and answer your questions.


Women’s March Iowa  – Intersectionality or Tokenization?, Brenda Vasquez & Kenia Calderon

Brenda Vasquez
Kenia Calderon

Participants in this workshop will explore the moral responsibility we have to include marginalized womxn in modern feminist practices. They will explore the erasure of identities pertaining to womxn of color and the history behind these oppressive traditions. Specifically, these ideas will be examined through the lens of the Women’s March, a movement that came about after the election of our current president. As an outcome, participants will learn how to uplift and support all womxn in feminism.