Building Belonging: DEIB Education Symposium
The University of Mount Union's School of Education, in conjunction with Kent State University’s School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies, is hosting an Education Symposium focused on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging. This event will bring together exceptional educators and practitioners across the region to share their work and discuss race, social justice, disability, allyship, diversity, and other topics relevant to the priorities of PK-12 education and higher education. We invite you to join us on the journey to create educational communities committed to inclusion, equity, and belonging.
Photo Courtesy Ohio Education Association | Rae Holloway
A 25-year veteran of the classroom, Kurt Russell was first inspired to become a teacher in middle school, when he encountered his first Black male teacher. Now as 2022 National Teacher of the Year, he advocates for classrooms to better reflect the students within them — from a curriculum that reflects their backgrounds and identities to a more diverse teaching profession.
Kurt teaches history at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio, where he was born and raised; his classes include African American history, which he has taught since the late 1990s, and Race, Gender and Oppression, a class he developed. He also serves as faculty advisor for the student-led Black Student Union, whose work has led to positive impacts for students across racial groups. In addition to his classroom and extracurricular duties, Kurt is the head coach for the school’s varsity basketball team. He sees basketball as an extension of the classroom, and a place where young people can learn about working together and how to handle both adversity and success.
Kurt holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in history and a minor in Black studies from the College of Wooster and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Ashland University. He continues to take courses in child development at Oakland City University. He was previously recognized as teacher of the year by the Oberlin Heritage Center and the Oberlin chapter of the NAACP, and as Lorain County Basketball Association Coach of the Year and the Northeast Ohio Coach of the Year.
Kurt lives with his wife, Donna, in Oberlin. They are the parents of two adult sons, Kurt Junior (KJ) and Korey. Kurt enjoys reading non-fiction and traveling.
Northern Cheyenne Middle School students and Lippman School partners
The Lippman School of Akron has partnered with the Northern Cheyenne people of Lame Deer, Montana to promote shared cultural understanding. Tribal elders and educators develop an array of programming and cross-cultural learning that takes place both on the reservation and in Akron. Students and educators from both communities visit the other and teach and learn alongside one another. Program highlights include developing new city and county legislation that established North American First People’s Day in Akron and Summit County, an annual celebration and education about indigenous people. Students also collaborated to create a web-based app about the Portage Path, one of Akron’s most ancient and historic landmarks. Students have learned history together, studied genocide, explored ancient indigenous art forms, and spent time in each other’s school, homes and communities learning what it’s like growing up in their respective contexts.