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Event Recap: Education Equity Panel

At City Year, we know that potential is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.

Education equity is critical to our mission, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to have hosted a stellar group of Kansas City education leaders for a panel discussion on Tuesday, November 17th.

This event was rooted in awareness and action. We’ve outlined a list of ways to get involved with each of the organizations featured at our event. If you were unable to attend, we encourage you to watch the recorded event and share it broadly with your friends, family, and colleagues.



Featured Panelists

Dr. Mark Bedell 

Superintendent, Kansas City Public Schools 

Dr. Bedell attended Fisk University, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1997. He went on to earn a Master of Education degree in educational leadership and administration from Tennessee State University in 2000.

While serving as a principal, his observation of students struggling to stay in school due to lack of wrap-around support prompted Dr. Bedell to study school culture, climate, and dropout prevention at Nova Southeastern University, where he was named a Doctor of Education in 2015. Success as a School Improvement Officer in Houston Independent School District garnered the attention of Baltimore County Public Schools, where Dr. Bedell served as Assistant Superintendent for High Schools from 2012 to 2016. His educational experience and leadership made Dr. Bedell a natural choice for the Superintendent’s post at KCPS in 2016.

Dr. Bedell has received many recognitions, including being named a “Superintendent to Watch” by the National School Public Relations Association and a “New Superintendent of the Year” by the Missouri Association of School Administrators.

Ways to support KCPS:


Cornell Ellis 

Executive Director, Brothers Liberating Our Communities (BLOC) 

Cornell Ellis is a native to Kansas City and is a product of Kansas City Public Schools. Cornell received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Avila University with a specialization in Ancient World Studies. Cornell taught, managed, instructional coached and worked in student facing roles for a decade. After founding Amplify and BLOC, Cornell uses his educational and professional experience to provide a strong understanding of equitable and justice centered surroundings. It has been Cornell’s goal in his career to create safe spaces for difficult conversations around race and equity.

Ways to support BLOC:


Edgar Palacios 

President & CEO, Latinx Education Collaborative 

A bilingual nonprofit executive, Edgar is the President & CEO (founder) of the Latinx Education Collaborative (LEC), a nonprofit that works to increase the representation of Latinx education professionals in K-12. Edgar is a seasoned nonprofit executive, working in leadership roles at Blue Hills Community Services and Central Exchange, as well as owning his own nonprofit consultancy that partnered with Achievement of Greater Kansas City, El Centro, Inc., Show Me KC Schools and the Kauffman Foundation.

Edgar is an MBA graduate of Rockhurst University, a member of the 2017 Class of the United Way Governance Academy, and a 2017 graduate of Centurions, the KC Chamber’s premier leadership development program where he earned the 2017 Centurions Mentor of the Year award.

Additionally, he was a 2020 LeanLab Education Fellow, a 2019 Surge Institute Academy Fellow, and a 2017 Visiting Fellow with Education Pioneers. He is a recent graduate/fellow from Surge Institute’s Kansas City Academy. Passionate about his community, Edgar has served as president of both Young Latino Professionals (YLP) of Greater Kansas City and the Kansas City chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs. He also dedicates time to serving on nonprofit boards.

Ways to support LEC:


Selina Rios 

Learning & Evaluation Director, City Year Kansas City 

After graduating from William Jewell in 2010 with a Bachelor’s in International Relations, Selina has spent over 10 years at City Year, having directly managed over 60 AmeriCorps Members and led six school partnerships with sites in Cleveland, Tulsa & Kansas City. In her current role, Selina leads AmeriCorps Member instructional training, manages the evaluation of school impact data, and is a certified Racial Equity Strategist (Disruptive Equity Education Project) leading Diversity, Equity & Inclusion work at a site and national level.

Outside of her work with City Year, Selina is a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, sits on the Board of Governors for William Jewell College, the Board of Directors for Center School District’s Foundation for Education, advisory committees for Teachers Like Me and Lean Lab, and proudly serves as the Board Chair for The Latinx Education Collaborative. Selina lives in the Blue Hills neighborhood and enjoys spending time with her rescue puppy, Benjamin Franklin III.

Ways to support CYKC:


Dr. Dred Scott 

President & CEO, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City 

Throughout his more than 20-year career devoted to serving youth, Dr. Dred Scott has served as Educator, Principal and Executive Director of Support Services. Most recently, Dr. Scott served as Deputy Superintendent for the Independence (MO) School District (ISD). Dr. Scott also serves on the Truman Medical Center Board of Trustees, the Drumm Farm Center for Children Board of Directors, the Jackson County Children’s Community Services Fund Board of Directors, and the Community Services League Board of Directors.

Dr. Scott brings an increased level of leadership on the Club’s current educational priorities toward assuring Club members’ success in this critical area. His experience, vision, passion, and leadership in youth development are a great match for the organization’s kids, Clubs, and staff.

Ways to support BGC:

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