About the Equity and Inclusion Committee
The PTO Equity and Inclusion Committee is focusing on ways to include more families in school, celebrate diversity, and reduce racial and economic disparities in our schools. Our goal last year was focused on helping families to feel welcome and a part of the school through the PTO. To achieve this, we distributed a parent/family survey about PTO activities and climate. A summary of survey results can be found here > We used the survey results at a workshop for parents and Franklin-Randall staff which was facilitated by the YWCA. See below for additional information regarding last year’s workshop.
For the 2015-16 school year, the Equity & Inclusion Committee is focusing on the goals identified at last spring’s workshop, which include increased communication and connection among families in each classroom, supporting our Parent Empowerment Groups (PEGs) and furthering the conversation about equity within our school community. This year, the E & I committee is looking for ways to involve our students in this conversation.
April 2015 Creating Equitable and Inclusive Organizations Workshop Facilitated by the YWCA
Purpose and Outcomes: Well-intended diversity initiatives often fall short of desired outcomes. While increasing awareness, most don’t create significant, sustainable organizational change. Join with other Franklin Randall parents to:
- Identify specific goals and strategies to develop a more equitable and inclusive school environment for children, teachers and parents.
- Explore the roles we can all play in advancing equal access to social and academic opportunities for all students and families. This program will focus on identifying ways to improve and facilitate communication between parents and school, as well as build strong and positive school community where all children, parents, and teachers feel equally welcome and certain their needs are being heard and respected.
Coming Together Through the Race to Equity Project
In spring 2014, the PTO hosted a presentation and discussion of the 2013 Race to Equity report. This report, developed by the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, brought to light startling racial disparities in Dane County including many affecting children:
- An African American child in Dane County is at least 11 times more likely to grow up in poverty than his White counterpart.
- An African American third grader is over four times as likely not to be proficient in reading than her White peers.
The Race to Equity Project summarizes the focus of this work: “Profound and persistent racial disparities in health, education, child welfare, criminal justice, employment, and income are common across the United States and in Wisconsin. These racial disparities compromise the life chances of many children and families and thwart our common interest that every child grows up healthy, safe and successful.”
The Race to Equity report recommends collective action—we all can play a role in combatting racism and helping children and families to access opportunities to succeed in our community. “Put plainly, we have come to see that the task ahead is not about assigning blame; it is about accepting shared responsibility” (Race to Equity Report, p. 25).
The Equity and Inclusion Committee first came together after the Race to Equity presentation to our PTO last spring.
Learn More, Get Involved, Share Ideas
To learn more about this committee, share your ideas or questions, or get details on our next meeting, please contact Aimee Hasenfus at firstname.lastname@example.org