Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Within WSPTA

Our Commitment

Washington State PTA values diversity within and among the communities across our state.  When we are focused on relationships and community building with an eye toward inclusion, we are better able to serve our families.  In 2020, WSPTA embarked on an organizational effort to examine practices, procedures, and programs to align our services with our goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion.  We remain committed to improvement in all areas of our organization to respect diversity within our membership and build our leadership pipeline to better represent the families we serve.

Member Feedback

We believe to be a powerful voice for all children and youth, we must welcome and engage all families in our communities. We would like to hear from you! Please share your feedback on our progress and ideas for how the PTA can be a stronger advocate and increase the engagement of underrepresented and underserved communities across the state.

Washington State PTA Member Feedback form

Our Values

WSPTA maintains a set of core values as the foundation of our service to families. We use the following belief statements in our decision-making protocols, our resource development, our advocacy efforts, and our programs and events:

  • By honoring each family’s specific living situation and support system, we share in decision-making, so all have an equitable opportunity to advocate for themselves, drive their priorities, and act.
  • We create safe space advocate for, and respect the uniqueness of all students, families, communities, and schools so that historically underserved feel invited, welcomed, and able to participate.
  • We reject bias and favoritism to create an empathetic environment that respects the different ways people engage with PTA. We prioritize making our communications, events, resources, and programs accessible to our communities, regardless of race, culture, gender identity, beliefs, ability, and background.
  • We build community through listening and understanding current and historical harms, especially those experienced by Black, Indigenous, People of Color, LGBTQ+, and families with disabilities, so collectively we design, implement, and evaluate a program that focuses on all families.
  • We embrace culture and traditions so that we can intentionally celebrate the diversity of our families and communities.

Our Progress

Washington State PTA has made steady progress toward our goal of building a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable association. We have made significant headway through information gathering, changing our organizational structure, increasing accessibility, and broadening our local PTA support.

Information Gathering

  • Created and included in the September 2023 Membership Newsletter, and available on the WSPTA website, an online form for members to share feedback to submit suggestions, comments, and questions related to PTA policies, practices, events and programs.
  • Collaborate and Build Community Partnerships is included in the WSPTA Strategic Plan 2023-26 established by the Board in June 2023.
  • To seek out organizations who can help us to learn and grow in our understanding of how to best serve our diverse communities, WSPTA established a new relationship with First WA in January 2022 and increased our involvement with Washington Family Engagement by planning to co-host their conference in September of 2022.
  • During May to June 2022, AV Consulting hosted listening sessions with current, past and non-members, using the feedback to create their recommendations.
  • A steering committee of diverse nonmembers also participated in the crafting of the Racial Equity Values Assessment Tool (REVAT) framework and the recommendations. Download the WSPTA DEI Audit Summary to view the recommendations.
  • In June 2022, AV Consulting, in consultation with WSPTA, conducted an annual wide-reaching statewide survey to gather input from families.
  • WSPTA contracted Alma Villegas Consulting (AV Consulting) in January 2022 to perform a diversity, equity and inclusion audit.

Organizational Changes

  • Established a WSPTA DEI Implementation Special Committee of Board Members, in August 2023.
  • In May 2023, the Board added to Washington State PTA Policy, Section 1.3 PTA Core Values as the foundation of our service to families. We will use these in our decision making protocols, our resource development, our advocacy efforts, and our programs and events.
  • At the Annual Business Meeting in April 2023, membership amended WSPTA Uniform Bylaws Article 7 Section 6, to require “ongoing annual training to include Diversity, Equity, Inclusion; PTA and the Law; and Executive Leadership Development for the elected officers of the Board of Directors.”
  • At the Annual Business Meeting in April 2023, membership amended WSPTA Uniform Bylaws Article 7, Section 2, to increase size of Nominating Committee to allow for more member representation on the Nominating Committee and having a voice in selecting candidates for WSPTA elected positions.

Local PTA Support

  • Each year, we publish a multicultural calendar in English and Spanish, accessible on our WSPTA Events Calendar webpage so local and council PTAs can consider high impact cultural and religious days when scheduling meetings and activities.
  • At several statewide events, WSPTA continues to host keynote speakers and trainings on anti-racism, equity, inclusion, and unconscious bias at all levels of PTA.
  • To support local and council PTAs in their efforts to make PTA more inclusive, we promote National PTA training and resources, like the National PTA DEI Resource Guide(en Espanol) and the National PTA Multicultural Reference Guide (en Espanol), which offers key strategies to enhance PTA’s inclusion of traditionally underrepresented children and families.
  • In spring 2023, developed Robert Rules for Effective Meetings (training and resources), centered around providing better understanding why we need meeting rules, the differences between Robert’s Rules of Order and Robert’s Rules for small groups.
  • In August 2022, chartered a statewide Special Education Committee to develop training on how to modify programs and presentations to support students with disabilities and/or their parents and guardians.
  • Created a new Special Education webpage on the WSPTA website in March 2023.
  • Created a new DEI webpage on WSPTA website in September 2022.
  • In April 2022, hosted and facilitated a WSPTA DEI Facebook Group to bring leaders together, share ideas, and collaborate.
  • In November 2020, added to WSPTA Policy, Section 3.2.5 Membership Subsidies and Gifts, to permit a local PTA to designate part of its general funds to pay for membership dues.

Accessibility and Inclusivity

Welcomed several new presenters at Autumn Leadership Launch 2023 who do not serve on the WSPTA board. In an effort to shift the culture that requires PTA leaders at the regional and state levels to lead all training efforts, we sent a message to all Autumn Leadership Launch 2023 attendees, inviting anyone interested in presenting at a future statewide event, to contact our WSPTA Leadership Director.

  • A WSPTA Accessibility Guide was created in September 2022 and has been used in planning statewide events since October 2022. Two handouts for local leaders were created in May 2023.
  • At Autumn Leadership Launch 2023, live Spanish interpretation was available for the Welcome overview session, some classes including PTA and the Law, and the Closing session.
  • WSPTA Leadership Director uses this multicultural calendar when approving statewide event and training requests.
  • Collaborate with the Legislative Consultant, Advocacy and Resolutions committees to provide a DEI lens on all submitted legislative issues, resolutions and principles.
  • Hosted Annual Business Meeting in 2023 as a remote event to increase access and offer it with zero registration fee.
  • Published on our WSPTA website, Spanish translated leader resources: President Handbook, Vice President Handbook, Secretary Handbook, Treasurer Handbook; theStandards of Affiliation training recording, and the Standing Rules templates for local and council PTAs.
  • Added a widget to the WSPTA website to translate the content into other languages.
  • Hosted a hybrid Legislative Assembly in 2022.

DEI Resources

Are you a PTA leader interested in resources and training to support your DEI efforts? Visit our Leader Resources webpage for WSPTA and National PTA resources, and check our WSPTA Events Calendar for upcoming opportunities.