As we say adios to National Hispanic Heritage Month, I was reminded by a Latino coworker that it used to be just a one-week celebration. (You may be old enough to remember National Hispanic Heritage Week.) But if you work in a school district, you know that learning about and celebrating all cultures is something that needs to last longer than one month.
Cultural diversity and equity in education need to last the entire school year and should be part of your school's communication planning.
But more than recognizing and paying tribute to such heritage by sprinkling in classroom activities and school events, incorporating it into your school DNA requires a full understanding of Hispanic/Latino, African-American, Asian-American, Native American, Arab and Jewish and other cultures.
Enter Heidi Otera, director of communications for the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) and vice president of diversity engagement for the National School Public Relations Association. Heidi is one of the foremost authorities on equity and school community engagement and has presented keynote addresses and seminars across the nation.
The ASBA serves 223 schools and over a million students in one of the most diverse states in the country. A veritable case study cultural diversity, Arizona is a panolpy of peoples, and it’s Heidi’s job to help lead the training, leadership and essential services to public school governing boards statewide.
We are lucky to have Heidi is the featured presenter in the upcoming Campus Suite Academy webinar on cultural diversity in school communications, Redefining Equity in School Communications.
She asks just how well do you understand equity in your school district? Do you really know how gender, family background, and ethnic origin factor into your students achieving their educational potential?
In her webinar, Heidi reviews the best practices school administrators, teachers, and board members can use to understand, engage and celebrate their school communities. She shows you how to redefine equity within your own school community, understand the importance of your school and community demographics, and how to reflect the community in your district’s work.
She examines how other schools use available data, images, and other content to accurately depict school culture, and explore professional development methods used to help teachers understand the cultures and experiences of the students they teach.
It's time to change how your school looks at equity
If your idea of equity in your schools is a month’s worth of posters and a guest speaker on the ethnic group du jour, this webinar is for you. It’s a must-see webinar for any school communicator or school administrator needing to examine their own definition of equity and overcome barriers to communication. Register for it here.
Marketing director and content strategist for Campus Suite, Jay’s a former school public relations specialist who’s helped businesses, schools and colleges use the power of web communications to improve their image, generate support, and optimize relationships. Reach him at email@example.com or follow him @jay4schools.