When we feel “belongingness,” we experience not only connection and acceptance, but we feel that we are part of something bigger than ourselves. This series is will explore concepts of belonging and othering, focusing on how we can foster more diverse and inclusive spaces for ourselves, our workplaces, and our communities.

Beginning March 11th, Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner presents a monthly series on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB), alternating between fireside chats with intimate conversations and interactive workshops.

By the end of this series you will have: 

  • Started the internal work of belonging and self-acceptance
  • Learned and implemented inclusive leadership skills at home and at work
  • Identified the impacts of socialization on stereotypes and bias and ways to mitigate these
Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner is the Vice President of Human Resources for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. As a champion for personal and professional wellbeing, Rebecca brings her extensive background in human resources, organizational development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion to help others strengthen their personal awareness and build new skills to more powerfully navigate their journey. She draws from skill sets such as emotional intelligence, positive psychology, resilience, and courageous leadership to support others in their goals to become more inclusive and more impactful leaders to themselves and others.

You Are Enough – Dealing with Imposter Syndrome

Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner with special guest, Rebeka Garcia Cook

Friday, March 11 | 12 – 1 PM CDT | Virtual via Zoom

Imposter Syndrome is commonly described as the negative voice in your head that is saying “you do not belong here.” This voice is not only distracting, but it can be detrimental to your personal and professional growth and development.

This session will dig deeper into what this voice sounds like, ways that it manifests in your actions and behaviors, and identify ways to mitigate these feelings of self-doubt.

Rebeka Garcia Cook, MPH, is an epidemiologist and health educator with eighteen years of applied public health experience and consultation. That work clarified for her that helping leaders make sense of data to accomplish a greater vision was her real passion.  She pivoted into leadership coaching and is now the owner of Green Boat Coaching and Consulting where she helps leaders create transformational change in the systems that matter to them.

Rebeka specializes in helping female business and organizational leaders create the future they desire. These women care deeply and are passionately involved in their businesses, families, and communities, and desire fullness in all of these areas. They are most at peace when transforming their world, their systems, by using their gifts and resources to impact the things that matter deeply to them. However that passionate heart can also create a frenzy that is exhausting and demanding and robs the joy from work and life.  Rebeka helps clarify what is most important and supports them as they align and focus their energy to continue to transform the world and enjoy life while doing it.

Rebeka helps change and transformation happen faster, fuller, and more sustainably by coming alongside them to clarify, listen, contain, propel, and encourage them as they create their desired future.

Learn more about Rebeka and the work she does at greenboatcoaching.com.


To Be or Not to Be – Authenticity in Practice

Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner with special guest, Kharissa Forte

Friday, April 8 | 12 – 1 PM CDT | Virtual via Zoom

Authenticity is a buzzword commonly thrown around yet often misunderstood. In a society where conformity, professionalism, and culture fit are dominant norms, how can one truly be authentic?

In this session, we will work through:

  • How to embrace all the identities that make you unique
  • Ways to show up that is true to you and also supportive of others
  • How to create an environment that encourages authenticity

As far back as she can remember, Kharissa Forte has always had a love for writing and self-care. Her experience as a health writer dates back to 2009 when she wrote health articles for UMKC’s student newspaper, which is where she earned her journalism and mass communications degree in 2013. Six years later, Kharissa received a holistic health coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Since then, her work has been featured in Mantra Wellness Magazine. She also writes a self-care column for Startland News called Holistic Hustle and is a Health News Writer for Health Digest.

In addition to writing, Kharissa is the co-founder of a health and wellness e-commerce brand called Grace & Grind. Several outlets including the Kansas City Business Journal and Startup Hustle Podcast have interviewed Kharissa to share her insight with their audience. Kharissa believes that true self-care isn’t just something you do, it’s part of who you are. Her mission is to empower people to make self-care a seamless, natural rhythm of their everyday lives sans any guilt, pressure, or resistance.

Learn more about Kharissa and the work she does at kforte.co.


The Path To Inclusion + Innovation – Creating Psychologically Safe Workspaces

Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner with special guest, Kendra Neal Wright

Friday, May 13 | 12 – 1 PM CDT | Virtual via Zoom

True belonging requires authenticity and vulnerability. Psychological safety serves as the bridge between surviving and belonging. Harvard professor Dr. Amy Edmondson defines psychological safety as “a sense of confidence that the team will not embarrass, reject or punish someone for speaking up…a shared belief that the team is safe for interpersonal risk-taking,” where trust and mutual respect allow people to be themselves.

What are the signs of a work culture that is psychologically unsafe? How does this impact the mental and emotional well-being of the team? How can you create this culture in your workplace?

Join us to explore these questions and more!

Kendra Neal Wright is a DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) professional that works with individuals and organizations to transform workplaces through the design and implementation of internal and external DEI practices and programs. She has worked across multiple industries including tech and government, creating and sustaining award-winning workplaces. She currently serves as Johnson County Government’s first organizational DEI leader.


Greater Than The Sum Of Our Parts

Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner with special guest, Tamicka Monson, MA, MS, LPC

Friday, June 10 | 12 – 1 PM CDT | Virtual via Zoom

Everyone has an individualized set of beliefs, values, and intentions that form our identity. But truly knowing who we are helps us understand how our identity has been shaped and transformed by our culture and environment – and how we influence the identities of others in our circles. As we continue our journey of self-awareness, understanding our individual identities can help create feelings of belonging and validation in our communities and workplaces.

Join Dr. Rebecca Baumgartner with special guest, Tamicka Monson, as they explore:

  • The impact of labels and descriptive words
  • Information on individual values through utilizing assessments
  • Skills to help from mislabeling self and others using positive reframing and other concepts from positive psychotherapy

Tamicka Monson MA, MS, LPC is a professional counselor at Tamicka Monson Counseling LLC. She holds a computer engineering degree and two master degrees. Tamicka is extremely passionate about identity work. Through individual and group counseling, speaking, and writing, Tamicka helps others heal, grow, and become the best version of themselves.

As a dedicated speaker of 15+ years, Tamicka uses her skills to reach out to hurting individuals within communities, discussing topics such as mental/emotional healing, including living as a whole person after experiencing trauma. She also speaks to community leaders on topics surrounding social justice (such as gun violence, mass incarceration, and poverty) affecting the minority communities. Furthermore, having worked in the field of childcare, youth development, education, and mental health for more than 10 years, she challenges educators to consider the unique struggles of those within minority and poverty-stricken communities, and how these struggles affect them.

Tamicka has written articles for SubCulture and has been featured on several podcasts and radio stations, including 90.7 KJHK and 90.9 The Bridge. Additionally, she is a rap artist and songwriter and uses her music to bring healing to others. For more information on Tamicka’s work, visit www.tamickamonsoncounseling.com.