Since adding a Family & Community Engagement Chair to our Board a few years ago, our Council has been prioritizing working to become a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization, and supporting our local PTAs in doing the same. To support our local PTA leaders, our FACE/DEI team hosts a monthly meeting for any board member interested in learning and discussing ways to further their DEI efforts. We invite the participants to watch a video (often one of the 10 Minutes to PTA the Transformative Way videos from National PTA) or read an article before we meet and then we spend 30 minutes discussing that and 30 minutes sharing and asking questions of each other. We’ve also coordinated training for PTA leaders in our district on equitable family engagement, racial literacy, processes for conducting equity audits and setting goals based on audit outcomes. Additionally, we started a grant program this year, offering up to $500 for local PTAs who were interested in implementing a program that is intended to enhance their DEI efforts.
Another priority of ours is to provide opportunities for families in our community to learn and engage in conversations regarding issues of equity. In February, we created a video series to share during Black Lives Matter at School week of action that featured students, caregivers, educators, and family groups sharing their lived experiences and how they related to one of the 13 guiding principles for BLM at School. In collaboration with community partners, we’ve coordinated DEI learning opportunities open to all families in our district. We have a very positive and collaborative relationship with our district’s Department of Equity and Family Engagement, meeting regularly to share goals and consider where our efforts might align. This has led to partnerships on community educational opportunities and on events that have centered, uplifted and celebrated the voices and experiences of students and families who experience everyday marginalization and oppression in our society.
Our Council added a Mental Health committee led by passionate parents and caregivers within our school district this year. The advocacy work they have done in such a short amount of time has been impactful! They have done so much to bring Mental Health awareness and support to students and families. Some of this work includes creating a Facebook page to share resources to support mental health and working with the city to sponsor an Asian-American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Mental Health Awareness Event.
Guest post by Michelle Harris & Susie Moore (she/her), FACE/DEI Co-Chairs, Shoreline Council PTSA 6.12