Wes Pratt

Missouri State University

Every year in February, people all across the country observe Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. This month grew out of Negro History Week in the mid-1920s.

Missouri State University will host several events and activities on campus to highlight the accomplishments and culture of the Black community. 

Wes Pratt, MSU’s chief diversity officer, shares more about Black History Month and its significance.

As our world becomes more diverse, it’s important to make diversity and inclusion part of everyday culture.

To this end, Missouri State University hosts the annual Collaborative Diversity Conference on campus to promote the inclusion of diversity in our community.  

The topic of racism will take center stage at Missouri State University’s Collaborative Diversity Conference this year.

Themed “Facing Racism in 2018 and Beyond: A Changing Dynamic,” the conference will take place from April 25-27 in the Plaster Student Union on campus. Wes Pratt, chief diversity officer and assistant to the president at MSU, offers more information about the event. 

Diversity and inclusion are popular buzzwords in many organizations today. But what do they really mean? And how do we go beyond paying lip service to the idea?

These questions and more will be addressed at Missouri State University’s Statewide Collaborative Diversity Conference, scheduled for April 19-21 this year. The theme of the conference is “Practice What You Preach in Diversity and Inclusion.” 

Scott Harvey / KSMU

Unity was among the keywords recited during an interfaith service Friday morning in Springfield just as inauguration festivities were beginning in Washington, D.C.

Roughly two dozen faith and community leaders offered prayers, readings and musical selections inside historic Washington Avenue Baptist Church at Drury University. Many called for strengthening goodwill toward others amid a divisive political climate.

Rev. Mark Struckhoff said the purpose was to “pray for love to reign.” 

Student Protests at MSU
Han Zhao / KSMU

Missouri State University officials are again facing calls from a group of students to improve the school’s diversity and inclusion efforts, this time by removing assistant vice president of Multicultural Services Juan Meraz.

The group Springfield Coalition for Minority Advancement Monday morning issued a petition to university administrators calling for the immediate removal of Meraz. The petition was signed by just under 100 students and community members.

Wes Pratt
Missouri State University

Missouri State University has made new appointments to its diversity team less than a week after Dr. Ken Coopwood announced his resignation as vice president of Diversity and Inclusion.

The school said Friday that H. Wes Pratt will become assistant to the president/chief diversity officer and Dr. O. Gilbert Brown will assume the role of associate provost for diversity. Both appointments are pending approval by the Board of Governors.


The local Minorities in Business (MIB) group serves as a great advocate for increasing minority and women owned businesses in our community.  Leslie Carrier talks with Wes Pratt, Interim President, who explains how MIB works with the Chamber of Commerce, City of Springfield, and Greene County to identify and increase business development opportunities for minorities and women.  One such example is developing guidelines to increase diversity in awarding contracting and purchasing jobs.   

Title IX was enacted in 1972 primarily as a way to ensure gender equity in educational institutions. As more recent court cases have interpreted it to include sexual misconduct and the rights and responsibilities of the individuals and institutions, it has become a hot topic. West Pratt, Missouri State University's director of institutional equity and compliance, shares about the new process.

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