Kayla Reifel

HDIA Co-President Discusses Organization’s Mission

Honors College junior Kayla Reifel is co-president of the Honors Diversity and Inclusion Advocates (HDIA). The organization meets every other Tuesday evenings at 7pm in Cherry Hall, room 428. Contact faculty advisor Dr. Stephen Christ to find more information about getting involved!

  1. In your own words, how would you describe HDIA as an organization, and what is its primary mission within the Honors College?

    HDIA is an organization that promotes and encourages discussion on social justice issues, diversity, and minorities. We network with other organizations and faculty/staff to cosponsor events with hopes of recruiting and retaining new members into the Honors College and HDIA. Our primary mission within the Honors College is to recruit minorities into the Honors College to create a more inclusive and diverse student body.

  1. What is your role in HDIA, and how long have you been a part of the organization?

    My role as Co-president in HDIA is to lead our meetings, plan events, coordinate with other Honors College organizations, and promote diversity and inclusivity within HDIA and UMKC. I’ve been a member of HDIA since it was established last fall.

  1. What is an exciting project that the organization currently has in place?

    An exciting project that HDIA has been working on for many months now is a guest speaker lecture event. Dr. Hawley, a geneticist from Stowers, kindly donated his time to lecture about discrimination in science, and how genetics play a role in discrimination. My hopes for this event are to shed light on a type of discrimination not many people think about.

  1. Why did you decide to be involved and run for leadership in this organization? What is advantageous about taking part in the group?

    I decided to involve myself within HDIA because I find it important to discuss some of the issues people face everyday in regards to discrimination, stereotypes, biases, and I enjoy brainstorming solutions to these issues. HDIA creates a space for me to voice my opinions about these issues and also gain new perspectives from other people. I find that every meeting I learn something new from my peers. It also allows me to use the solutions HDIA comes up with to combat some of these problems that occur within UMKC and the Honors College. By being co-president, I am more deeply involved with the organization and find it easier turn my thoughts into actions.