With a theme of diversity, staff from Moraine Park Technical College and the City of Fond du Lac came together during Moraine Park’s recent Professional Development Days.
City managers and other personnel collaborated with the College for a day of seminars that provided awareness of cultures, autism spectrum disorder, economic class and gender roles.
“Working with the City of Fond du Lac on this inservice provided an opportunity for the staff of both entities to view diversity from many perspectives,” said Gayle Hytrek, Moraine Park president. “Because of our collaboration with the city we were able to provide a wide variety of sessions. We are especially appreciative to Tom Herre and Tony Barthuly who tied the concepts from the other sessions to the changes taking place right here in our city.”
Thomas Herre, Fond du Lac city manager, and Tony Barthuly, Fond du Lac police chief, presented “Diversity: A City in Transition,” which offered a broad perspective on the demographic changes that are taking place in the City. Another session, “My Life in Protective Services,” was presented by Edgar Ramirez-Tellez, Fond du Lac firefighter, and Lt. Tina Braun of the Fond du Lac Police Department. They provided a candid and personal overview on their experiences as minorities in carrying out the duties of their professions.
“Having this type of healthy dialogue at Moraine Park concerning diversity is what you would expect in our vibrant, forward-looking City,” said Herre.
Two nationally known speakers also appeared at the inservice. Tou Ger Xiong, founder of Project Respectism and a diversity consultant, comedian, storyteller and rap artist, gave an interactive performance, “Teaching Culture Through Laughter,” that combined explosive energy, rap music and a journey through his life, educating the audience about cultural diversity and racial stereotypes.
Marilyn Levin, MSW, CAPSW, presented “Men and Women Leading Together.” Levin is an award-winning activist, educator and author who has experience with nonprofit, youth, experiential education, social justice/diversity and transformation work.
Other diversity-themed sessions were presented by individuals from Beaver Dam Middle School, Madison Area Technical College, and Moraine Park.