The National Parent Leadership Institute (NPLI) with the support of the Hagedorn Foundation, Abriendo Puertas, and the Einhorn Foundation, convened Parent Leaders and Parent Leadership Initiative field partners for the NPLI 2018 Racial Equity Think Tank: Advancing Racial Justice Through Parent Leadership October 8-11, 2018.
Family leaders, community networkers, policy/data analysts, advocacy and organizing experts all gathered for deep dialogue on current challenges and strategies to civically engage parents across race and culture. The Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC) and EmbraceRace were partners, facilitators, and co-trainers in this work.
FLTI of Prowers County alumni, Susan Crites, Leonor Gamboa, Maria Gutierrez, and Lupita Mungaray attended the Think Tank event, along with FLTI of Colorado staff, Heather Meyer, and State Civic Design Team Chair, Nadine Lund. They were joined by nine other Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) sites from across the U.S., including: California (Merced, Solano, San Joaquin counties); Alexandria, Virginia; New York City and Rochester, New York; Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; Wind River Indian Reservation, Wyoming; Everett, Washington and a state team from Connecticut (Danbury, Hartford, Meriden, Plymouth, Stamford, Waterbury, West Hartford).
National experts facilitated conversations on race and culture, to enable attendees to lead critical conversations in their home community. Teams attending the Think Tank are also part of NPLI’s newly launched learning community that will implement a one-year alumni engagement pilot program using the tools and opportunities identified during the training to increase opportunities for parents of color and parents with low incomes to effectively participate in civic engagement and community leadership work.
Meyer, with FLTI of Colorado said, “The Think Tank was a beautiful and rich learning experience because of the intentionally diverse teams that were present. We are at a tipping point in our country when it comes to race relations and social equity and to take what we have learned and apply it in our homes, our neighborhoods, our schools, our institutions is crucially important.”
NPLI will continue to advance its racial equity work with the start of this new learning community and will offer tools and resources to attendees as they continue to work collaboratively.