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DEI Director joins Midland Public Schools staff

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 6:52 PM EST
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - Midland Public Schools are taking a step toward inclusiveness and understanding.

The district launched an initiative in 2019 and recently hired a full-time program director. Superintendent Mike Sharrow said they still have long ways to go to reach those goals based on reaction to the announcement.

“I try not to read a lot of social media posts, but we announced De’Ondre Hogans’ hiring I want to kind of see what the feel is out there. And as you can imagine some of the comments are exactly why we need to do it and Midland,” he said.

The reaction to that hiring is not the first time the district has been confronted with racism and the need to address it. Over the summer, the stadium track was vandalized with a racial slur. It was found just as the Board of Education adopted a new Inclusion and Diversity Vision Statement.

“Sometimes we would move the mission forward and then it would kind of get stalled for a while. So we’ve made a commitment to make a full time position in our district have someone to lead that DEI mission for us and keep us, you know, kick out keep our feet to the fire,” Sharrow said.

Hogan most recently worked in Grand Rapids area as a community school coordinator and a leader in an anti-racism work group. Now he will responsible for promoting a similar message to the 78-hundred students in the Midland Public Schools. Sharrow says students have been on the path to inclusiveness for a few years now.

And now it’s up to the rest of the Midland community to follow their lead.

“And so even though we’re probably predominantly white community. I don’t think people recognize why we’re going to be a better district while children will feel safe while children will learn better while we were very concerned about wellness of all of our children. And so we know this will advance our mission and everything we do,”Sharrow said.

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