ALLIANCE, Ohio — 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 titled, “Building Belonging.” The event will take place Thursday, September 29 and Friday, September 30 at 9 a.m. in Brush Hall on Mount Union’s campus.
The first day will start with a feature presentation by Northern Cheyenne Middle School Students and Akron’s Lippman School partners, while the second day will kick off with the Keynote Speaker, 2022 National Teacher of the Year, Kurt Russell.
A 25-year veteran of the classroom, Russell was first inspired to become a teacher in middle school, when he encountered his first Black male teacher. As 2022 National Teacher of the Year, he advocates for classrooms to better reflect the students within them. Russell teaches at Oberlin High School in Oberlin, Ohio; his classes include African American history, and Race, Gender and Oppression. He 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 and continues to take courses in child development at Oakland City University.
The Lippman School of Akron has partnered with the Northern Cheyenne people of Lame Deer, Montana to promote shared cultural understanding. 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. Northern Cheyenne middle school students will be sharing their culture through a presentation modeling their regalia, music, and history. They are accompanied by tribal elders and teachers from their middle school in Lame Deer, Montana.
Dr. Mary Beth Henning, Professor of Education at the University of Mount Union, said, “I give credit to the Lippman School for their vision of bringing Northern Cheyenne partners to a broader audience in Northeast Ohio. I’m so excited that we will have the opportunity to learn from the Northern Cheyenne, as well as Kent State faculty, and so many others who are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in our community.”
Other sessions include presentations from Kent State and Mount Union faculty, Akron City Schools, Alliance City Schools, and more. This event does not require registration and is open to the public.