“What’s important in today’s world is diversity:” UMES holds summit to raise awareness of diversity in schools

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- Thursday, educational leaders gathered at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, for the first ever, “Man The Shore Education Summit.”
The goal of the summit was to help address the retention and recruitment of black male teachers to hopefully change how classrooms look.
“To talk about how do we recruit, how do we retain, and ultimately how to we provide the best experiences for our boys of color in school so that they to can see themselves as teachers,” Dr. Richard Warren, a UMES professor, said.
During the event, six panelists spoke with the goal of bringing attention on how to get more teachers of color into the classroom and why this initiative is needed.
“I think they bring a diverse and different perspective, what’s important in today’s world is diversity, to understand the positions, the history, the experiences of a variety of people,” Marshall Stevenson, the Dean of School of Education, Social Science, and Arts, said.
The principal of Pocomoke High school, who attended the event, agrees that raising awareness about the idea of diversity and representation is important.
She said her high school is made up of around 50% white students and 50%  students of color, but when it comes to teachers, she can’t say the same.
“Our teaching population is about 95% white, so our teaching demographics really should be looking like our student demographics,” Jenifer Rayne, the Principal of Pocomoke High School, said.
Overall, event organizers said they hope people who attended this summit left with more insight on what it takes to attract teachers of color, and what a positive impact this could have on students.
“The more people of color that are assuming job positions in education ,think about all the children that they can impact that they can then think by the time they are in first grade ‘Oh  I wanna be a teacher, that’s me,'” Rayne said.
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