Academy for Life & Faith

2017 Series of classes sure to stimulate thought, discussion and action.

The Adult Education Committee is pleased to present this month's selection of the Saint Andrew Adult Education Series. The series brings classes ranging from environmental topics, to social issues, to scriptural and theological studies. Each series is led by speakers who are experts in their field and have a passion to share with us as we continue the challenge to 'seek God, create community, and practice justice.'

We would like to extend a big thank you to the members of the 2017 Adult Education Committee:
Royce Ann Collins (chair), Marcia Manter, Vivian Gibbens, Mark Dugan, Julie Broski, & Denise Dugan.

February 12
"Ending Health Disparities"

Melissa Robinsonwith Melissa Robinson
9:30 am, Friends Hall

Ms. Robinson, a Robert Woods Johnson Fellow and President of the Black Health Care Coalition will describe her team’s activities to create health equity for all. Melissa Robinson is leading efforts to address the social determinates of health; ensuring the organization is making a significant impact on reducing health disparities in the areas of hypertension, infant mortality, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer and childhood asthma.

Robinson obtained a Bachelors of Science degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Masters of Business Administration from Webster University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Robinson recently completed coursework for Community Health Worker certification and is trained to teach Mental Health First Aid.

Melissa Robinson serves as a board member for Prime Health Foundation, Jackson County Developmental Disabilities Services (EITAS), Freedom School of Greater Kansas City and The Ad Hoc Group Against Crime. She is also a Steering Committee member for the Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition and actively involved in the Urban Summit. Robinson is the Chairwoman of the Northwest Regional Alliance for the State of Missouri’s Office of Minority Health.

Robinson is the mother of Jeffery Johnson an active 4 year old who was born premature and given a 30% chance of survival. This personal experience has added to Robinson’s motivation to address disparity in meaningful ways.


February 19
"Exploring Race: A 'Sacred Conversation' on Cultural Bigotry"

Brian Fosterwith Brian Foster
9:30 am in Friends Hall

Brian's discussion offers a look into how racist attitudes owe its roots to cultural stereotypes, and, faith-based ways to combat our own learned perceptions.

Brian Foster has been a member of Saint Andrew Christian Church since 1999. Recently retired from Sprint after 22 years, he is currently employed by Amazon. For the past 18 years, he has been a registered high school basketball official in Kansas. He was named a Senior Advisor to Euphrates Gallery Inc. in 2009, and has performed volunteer service with Junior Achievement, the YMCA, the United Negro College Fund, and the March of Dimes.

Foster has been participating and/or leading workshops on race for the past nine years. He authors a personal blog, "FosterVision: What I see and the stuff I say about it" which addresses race from a social perspective.

A charter member of the 100 Black Men of Greater Kansas City, Foster co-created the group’s reading programs - for which he was a recipient of Kansas City mayor Mark Funkhouser's "Somebody's Hero" proclamation in 2011 - served as the organization’s first Education Committee chairman, and as chapter president for three years; he currently sits on the organization's Board of Directors. He was named one of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City's “Black Achievers” in 2013, and is listed in “Who’s Who in Black Kansas City” in 2015. He is a Life Member in Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Foster is an alumnus of Clark/Atlanta University, majoring in Mass Communications, and earned a certification in Project Management from George Washington University. A native of Oklahoma City, he resides in Olathe, and is married with three children.