A career fair with a difference

05 Mar

Listening to CBC Radio One in the car as I often do, and on “Spark” was a piece about an arts building on a Toronto university campus that was wired so panels encasing the building lit up according to wind speed and direction. Also built in was a response to any Twitter post hash-tagged “homelessness,” whereupon the panels would all flash silently red for several seconds. But hardly anyone knew why the display, what it meant, and the architect explained that was symbolic too, of how little we understand about homeless people, how we can glance, walk on by, not pursue the reasons, a deeper understanding. And not just from a desire not to invade the personal space and privacy of someone on the streets (for everyone needs that at times, and who knows but that some folks want to be invisible sometimes? Don’t we all? But not really… Also illustrating that there is a payoff for those who take the initiative to pay attention and find out more.

And then I got to thinking about careers related to the alleviation of poverty and homelessness, and causal issues, and how cool it could be to organize a young adult career fair entirely focused on types of work that have those aims. It could include so many disciplines: medicine, social work, law enforcement, education, law, music, theater,  visual arts, journalism and all other kinds of writing, video production, software design, accounting, architecture, environmental advocacy, politics, marketing, public relations, religious ministry, and I have to stop somewhere, but you see how it could be…

Not just a campaign to advertise college and universities and give away free disposable college paraphernalia, but show what real people are doing out there, and how they learned to do what they do. Bring in speakers who are passionate about using their knowledge and skills to work for socioeconomic justice and just be a compassionate presence among the poor, who will always be always with us, Jesus said. Allow students to apply to job shadow, volunteer and apprentice. Get the focus off the remuneration and onto the ways one can be useful, in sustainable ways.


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3 responses to “A career fair with a difference

  1. jdawgsrunningblog

    March 6, 2014 at 5:36 am

    That’s really cool how your mind works—taking that radio segment–and extending it to a career for social service/justice fields….what a powerful idea–wonder how you can look into making it happen–maybe you could start by sending this writing above to newspapers and other media outlets?

  2. toesinthedirt

    March 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Yes, I feel responsible for working on this now that it occurred to me. Don’t see myself as an organizer though–perhaps that’s the way to start as you suggest, and/or contact folks who organize other career fairs at the schools and local college. Any other suggestions, contacts, are welcome.

  3. jdawgsrunningblog

    March 7, 2014 at 5:34 am

    BTC might have knowledge on this–as well as The United Way and Opportunity Council– and, like you say some folks at the school district office. You’d really be doing a service.


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