Kara Whitman joins MUS as an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA), appointed to focus on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI). Working with MUS members, Kara will develop and share tools that help jumpstart conversations about racial equity in the workforce development ecosystem. By way of research, member engagement and data analysis, Kara will produce a REDI toolkit, policy frameworks and other strategic resources designed to increase the capacity of the public workforce system to address systemic inequities and access to quality, family sustaining jobs in historically marginalized communities.
Kara is also the new point of contact for MUS Workforce Innovators, a cohort of leaders sharing best practices, participating in development opportunities, incubating transformative projects and advocating for parity, inclusion and increased representation for women and minorities. Under Kara’s leadership, Workforce Innovators are developing communication products and flagship activities, which will inform activities across the membership and through various publication channels, ensure regional and national influence.
Kara is especially sensitive to the needs of adult learners and her service in this arena is longstanding in the United States and overseas. Prior to joining Midwest Urban strategies, Kara supported Yemen’s peace and post-conflict recovery with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) where she developed, monitored, and reported education and health initiatives aimed to increase employability among young adults aged 18-32 and expand public services in conflict-affected communities. Whitman is also active with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV),Regional Office for the Arab States (ROAS), where she develops communications which feature best practices relative to the 2030 Agenda, refugee crisis and COVID-19 pandemic. Kara is a member of the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE); recently publishing articles about African-American representation to accompany INEE’s new anti-racism strategy.
Whitman holds a PhD in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and is an avid reader, poet, and vegan food aficionado.