In January of this year, AV Consulting began a statewide DEI audit process for Washington State PTA. Additionally, the WSPTA Board of Directors committed to implementing the recommendations of the DEI Audit and to transform its organizational practices and support for its constituencies in alignment with the elements of Resolution 2.26: Dismantling Institutional and Systemic Racism.
The early stages of the DEI audit included the engagement of a Steering Committee composed of families, community partners and school personnel who assisted with the design and execution of a 4-month family engagement process. The engagement included listening sessions and interviews with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), parents of differently abled students, LGBTQ+, advocates, school personnel and community partners.
AV Consulting conducted:
- 11 listening sessions
- 45 interviews
- A current and past WSPTA member survey with over 450 responses
- Face the hardest resource/ academic/ socio-emotional challenges
- Are furthest away from power
- Have not been engaged in the PTA in the past as well as past members who,
- Have experienced bias, discrimination and oppressive practices that have impeded their participation.
- Focus on quality of family & school community
- Give more robust attention to DEI training for all members
- Formally committing to language justice including interpretation, translation & accessibility
- Connect unique lived experiences and non-traditional skills as a pathway for new leaders
- Recognize the value of community partnerships in meeting unique family needs
- Acknowledge past harm to historically underserved families
- Racial Equity Values Creation – Guided by the engagement responses the Steering Committee has drafted racial equity value statements to be an anchor in recommendations and decision making for the audit and for the future of WSPTA.
- Key Bylaws and Policy Change Recommendations – The bylaws and policies govern what the state and local PTAs can do. Applying a racial equity lens ensures a truly equitable process and practices that are at the forefront of the WSPTA’s transformation.
- October 2022 – December 2022: Steering Committee workplan development
- October 2022 – January 2023: Engagement with WSPTA Board of Directors and select committee members
- February 2023 – March 2023: Community and member workplan draft vetting sessions
- March 2023 – April 2023: Recommendations shared with WSPTA members
We recognize that the transformation journey is long and much remains ahead of us. Through this DEI Audit, the WSPTA Board has displayed a commitment to not only invest in listening to community but ensure action is taken as a result. These actions will lead to real and genuine change to repair past harm, begin the healing process and result in the vision of an inclusive and welcoming organization that is truly accessible for all families.
The opportunity for those who are enthusiastic about being on the frontlines of implementing the results of the WSPTA DEI audit’s recommendations is coming next year. For questions or if you wish to participate in a vetting session in early 2023, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thank you for talking to parents. You will show us that our voice has value if you follow with action.”
~Latinx Participant – Former PTA Member