Teaching others to fulfill their potential
Living in Las Vegas for 30 years, Dr. Joni Flowers, a professor at the College of Southern Nevada for the education department, teaches valuing cultural diversity, and prepares teachers to use technology to teach and learn in the online classroom, which is a part of a 15-credit online teaching certificate that she created and implemented for the education department.
Dr. Flowers is also the founder, president and executive director of the Cultural Diversity Foundation, a nonprofit organization, with a mission to create opportunities to learn by promoting, encouraging and enhancing the growth of individuals through the development of programs that support upward mobility for disadvantaged Clark County residents.
“One of the reasons that I am so passionate about the CDF is because it goes above and beyond the call of duty to reach out across the community to create opportunities and to remove roadblocks for individuals who may have limited access to resources to achieve their personal, professional, and educational goals,” explained Dr. Flowers, “I have been able to take what I have learned in life, and throughout my educational and professional career, and give back to the community. It is truly a labor of love.” Through Dr. Flower’s leadership, the CDF offers a variety of computer skills classes for youth and adults in the classroom and through the CDF’s e-learning program.
Dr. Flowers has created three fundraising events: the Golden Hand Service Awards; Looking Through the Eyes of the Beholder: An Artist’s Vision; and the annual Educational Taste of Excellence: Wine Tasting, Spirits and Jazz Scholarship Fundraiser.
In addition to her full-time teaching job and managing her nonprofit organization, Dr. Flowers still finds time to volunteer and support other organizations and programs such as the National Youth Sports and Academic Program, Keep Memory Alive Foundation, Lied Discovery Museum annual gala, Nathan Adelson Hospice Multicultural Luncheon, Summer Business Institute, and Moms in Business Network. She is also a board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Las Vegas chapter and a member of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
She credits several people for guiding and helping her realize many of her goals. “My biggest influences are my parents who stressed a strong work ethic in school and work, and my elementary school teachers who made me feel like I was so important and encouraged me to always do my best. My mother is my greatest inspiration. She has always told me to believe in myself and to never give up. Rise to the challenge! I fondly remember her helping me with my homework in elementary school and attending my big chess competition in elementary school, too. I tell people that I was blessed to have access to a public and home education,” Flowers said.
Dr. Flowers advises others considering education as a career to have passion for the teaching and learning process. “You must also be patient. I truly love what I do,” she said. As for those who want to create a charity organization she suggests, “For those individuals who have started a nonprofit or who are in the planning stages, start with a blueprint or a framework; attend workshops, classes, or seminars to help broaden your knowledge; and network to build relationships.”
She obtained an associate degree in business management, bachelor’s degree in secondary education, master’s degree in information and library studies and a doctorate degree in computers in education/distance education. Dr. Flowers attended college for 18 years to obtain her degrees and vowed never to quit until she received her advanced degrees; then shared her knowledge with others. Dr. Flowers is truly a Fearless Female continuing her journey.