To Our Florida PTA Community,
The tragic and unjustifiable deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and other Black Americans, who have been denied the opportunity to achieve their full potential in life, have ignited nationwide unrest and shined a light on long-standing issues of racial disparity in our country. While it is understandable to feel anger, sorrow, and fear in these challenging times, we can also find strength in PTA’s mission of making every child’s potential a reality by engaging and empowering families and communities to advocate for ALL children.
At Florida PTA, we stand together in the fight against racial inequality and injustice. We embrace the uniqueness of all individuals, appreciating that each contributes a diversity of views, experiences, cultural heritage/traditions, skills/abilities, values, and preferences. We find strength and courage in our open conversations on difficult topics, and we empower one another to better ourselves, our families, our schools, and our community through positive actions. We are committed to continuing to offer a safe space where our volunteers and the families we serve can channel their emotions and values into positive action.
We must strengthen our community of support to empower families and students so they can navigate and break barriers to achieve the equitable and lasting results they deserve. We ask you to join our public policy and advocacy work to demand justice and drive positive change, so ALL children and communities are celebrated for their diversity and treated fairly.
Here are a few suggestions of positive actions you and your PTA can take now:
- Openly assess your beliefs and practices to assure inclusiveness and guard against discrimination;
- Understand that implicit biases are pervasive and can reside deep in our subconscious. Seek ways of identifying these biases and work towards preventing them from negatively impacting our organizations, through training and information;
- Make every effort to create a PTA board and membership that is inclusive and reflective of their communities;
- Encourage that all PTA activities at the school be planned by a committee which is representative of the population;
- Foster programs and practices that eliminate bias, prejudice and misunderstanding within your communities;
- Become acquainted with leaders of the many diverse groups in the community and collaborate with them to increase parent, family and community involvement;
- Educate leaders and members to the needs, cultural beliefs, traditions, and family structures of the population they serve; and
- Propose change wherever discriminatory practices are perceived.
Linda Kearschner | Florida PTA President