Portland Public Schools hired an excellent staffer in Fall of 2008 to address deep systemic disparities in workforce diversity, cultural competency, and lay the foundation for improving academic achievement of students of color. Kurt spoke to APANO’s general membership in June 2009. Here is the press release:
Superintendent names workforce diversity director
In announcing the hire of Kurt Jun, Superintendent Carole Smith said: “All of our employees must be able to build strong relationships with our students and families, no matter who they are or where they come from. Kurt is skilled and experienced in helping large, public organizations become more diverse and culturally competent, and I look forward to working with him to achieve those goals here at Portland Public Schools.”
Jun comes to PPS from Salem Hospital and Regional Health Services, where he directed its diversity program. In that role, he worked closely with the hospital’s human resources department to promote the hiring and retention of a more diverse workforce. He also built strong ties to the local community and served as a member of the Salem Human Rights Commission.
Previously, Jun managed diversity, affirmative action and civil rights compliance programs for the Oregon Department of Transportation. In these positions, he monitored agency compliance with federal civil rights provisions and worked with state, local and community partners to promote affirmative action and environmental justice on major transportation-related projects.