Kansas City,
09:02 AM

Michelle Wimes to receive Tulane Law Black Alumni DEI award

Michelle Wimes

Michelle Wimes, JD, SVP/Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer, has been named the recipient of the inaugural Tulane University Law School Deans Kramer & Clayton Award for Leadership in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

The award was created to recognize exemplary impact in advancing the cause of access and inclusion in the legal profession. The Tulane Law announcement describes Michelle as, “A nationally recognized expert on professional development, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.”

Michelle became the first Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Children’s Mercy Kansas City in 2020. She leads the DEI efforts of the hospital's 9,000-employee base over 18 locations. In less than two years, she has conducted the hospital system's first Diversity Workforce Assessment, developed CM’s inaugural DEI Strategic Plan, and developed innovative health equity initiatives to address homelessness, food insecurity, and anti-racism in Kansas City. Michelle continues to be an active leader at Tulane and other institutions as a mentor to law and medical students and as a leader in innovative pipeline and pathway programs to open both the fields of law and medicine to underrepresented students.

Prior to joining Children's Mercy, Michelle worked for 14 years in three AmLaw 100 firms, practicing all aspects of employment litigation, and serving as an equity partner at a Kansas City-based firm. She focused on matters involving employment discrimination, harassment, and civil rights issues while representing clients before administrative agencies and courts.

Michelle will receive the award on Feb. 5 at the Tulane Black Law Alumni Reunion at Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium in New Orleans.

The award is named in honor of John Kramer and Robert Clayton, whose passionate leadership in the cause of racial equity and justice helped to transform Tulane Law School. Dean Kramer was Tulane Law School’s 19th Dean and served from 1986 to 1996; Kramer recruited Robert Clayton to serve as Assistant Dean of the Law School and the founding director of Tulane Law’s pioneering Minority Access Program.