There aren’t too many events that excite me before I attend, but this one… this one is different. This event is so important that it touches me to my core. Why? Because it’s about representation, it’s about diversity, and it’s about education.

It’s the kind of event that’s NEEDED.

It’s the kind of event that makes a difference.

It’s an event I want everyone to know about, to share and/or to attend.


So what event is this?

It’s the Northeast Ohio Diversity in Education Recruitment Event. This is an annual job fair that is designed to connect candidates from under-represented backgrounds in education and in our schools’ adult communities with employers looking to increase diversity in all of its forms among their faculty, staff, and administration. While the hope is to attract people of color and other visible forms of diversity, it acknowledges that candidates from other countries and cultures, members of the military, and those looking for second careers can enrich classrooms and community by bringing their diverse experiences and perspectives.

So for me this is personal and it’s why I know there’s so much value in making this event a success. Growing up, I had two different experiences. The first, most notable in middle school, where I met educators that I connected with simply because they looked like me! These individuals single handedly changed my life. They weren’t just teachers, they were counselors, security guards, cafeteria workers- you name it! They became people who I get excited to run into at the grocery store as an adult. Many of which I’ve kept in touch over the years, whom I’ve invited to my graduations and wedding ceremony, they are people who I send cards to on the holidays or have weekly conversations with on Facebook. These relationships to me were more than education- but creating them only happens by being intentional and attending events like this.

On the other hand, I was also the minority student wishing, and longing, for teachers, administrators or coaches who looked like me. There were times where I can remember situations and conversations that I wish could’ve taken place had there been someone in the room that understood things a little differently. That was growing up, but even today, I have a son attending an awesome school, but… it lacks representation. I truly believe that, while he’s getting a great education, his experience would be so much better if he saw someone that looked like him in leadership.

Much like myself, this event believes that bringing talented adults from diverse backgrounds into our communities makes our institutions stronger and our students better prepared for the real world. We also share a collective belief in the impact that adults in our community can have when they share common experiences with students – experiences related to all races, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, socio-economic classes, religions, and more.

Honestly, the concept of diversity at many of the institutions represented at the fair is broader than most. I was surprised to learn that many of do not require certification as proof of talent, expertise, or preparation for the classroom. I also learned that this fair is not limited to just teacher vacancies; a variety of available positions within each organization are looking for administrators, instructional coaches, athletic coaches, technology support, and operations team members.

In short, this is a fair that is different from most in both feel and purpose. While the atmosphere at many job fairs can be chaotic and overwhelming, this event is intentionally designed to provide a more intimate environment that is conducive to exploring the differences among the institutions, the variety of employment opportunities available, and the appropriate fit for each individual.

This type of setting also allows candidates and employers to interact and network on a more focused, personalized level. Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for same-day interviews at the event. That’s right, SAME DAY INTERVIEWS!!!

I know you’re wondering does this work, is anyone actually hired? And the data from Hawken School alone shows more than 15 candidates from this annual event went on to be interviewed with 8 of them getting hired, over the last 3 years. That’s just for one school, and here’s a personal testimony:

“My professor and advisor at John Carroll told my class about the NEO Diversity in Education Recruitment Event because he thought it would be a great opportunity to see what jobs were available in the area and to get some interview experience. It turned out to be much more! Having the opportunity to hear school leaders talk about their schools gave me a good idea of which schools might be a good fit for me. I learned that Hawken had an opening in the grade level and content area I was interested in, so I was able to have an initial interview that day. After continuing on through the interview process, I ended up being hired as a sixth grade math teacher at Hawken. The whole process was very smooth, and I’m happier than I ever dreamed I’d be.”

What more do you need to be convinced that you have to be here? And if not you, maybe someone you know! This is an event that so many can benefit from. It’s an event that impacts our community in such a positive way, it’s providing jobs and it’s promoting diversity- and more importantly, teaching us that there’s value in representation and education.

I am proud to support this event and I hope that you will register and meet me there!

To reserve your spot REGISTER HERE: https://neodiversityevent.org/


*This post is sponsored through a partnership with Hawken School. These are my real views and opinions.

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January 31, 2020

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