A Message from Ann-Marie Callegari, Supervisor of the Office of Family Engagement and Equity
Re: Black Parents Affinity Group Retreat, February 27
Note: Next Black Parents Affinity Group Event: Dinner and a Movie, Tuesday, March 8, 6-8pm at Malcolm X Elementary in the Library. We will be viewing ****More Than A Day**** (Race and Equality in Post-Racial America), with interactive discussions.
February’s Black Parents Affinity Group “Parent Power” Retreat honored Black History Month with a series of engaging workshops structured to empower parents to successfully navigate and positively impact their students’ education each day.
Families came together in the BUSD Board Room filled with red, black, green and gold balloons, marking the beginning of the Black Parents Affinity Group Retreat, on Saturday, February 27, 2016.
The Retreat commenced with a church clapping medley that included the Black National Anthem, lead by parent advocate and Director of PCAD (Parents of Children of African Descent) Laura Babitt and her daughter Jalayah (Longfellow). To build momentum and get to know each other, the group enjoyed Black History and Culture bingo, followed by workshops for parents/guardians, and a Young Gifted and Black Teach-in for the children.
This year’s retreat included several workshops:
- Race and Racism, (focusing on micro-aggressions) taught by BUSD parent and college professor Dr. Ramona Coates;
- Parents partnering with schools taught by author of ‘Parent Champion’, Education Leader, and retreat keynote speaker Tovi Scruggs;
- Navigating Special Education for positive outcomes for Black children, taught by BUSD parent and Special Education Ombudsman for San Francisco Unified School District Laura Savage.
In the end, the children stole the spotlight. After an hour teach-in with guest performers Young, Gifted and Black (YGB), parents/guardians were surprised with confident performances from their children. The YGB group then performed a few Black History Rap numbers for our families, and the excitement was infectious!
Families came together for lunch and were met by School Board Director Josh Daniels, Superintendent Donald Evans and Deputy Superintendent Javetta Cleveland. Dr. Evans and Ms. Cleveland delivered extremely warm, funny and impassioned speeches, offering their support and encouragement to our amazing parents/guardians and families. Keynote Speaker Tovi Scruggs spoke delightfully about her experiences growing up, building a school that served Black Children, and the importance of children seeing parents as their champions. Her wisdom and knowledge were shared in an engaging manner.
The positive energy remained throughout the day and after the retreat. Parents and guardians are asking for more of the same type of workshops offered at the retreat, and inquired about how to bring Young, Gifted, and Black to our district. Everyone wanted more!
The retreat was sponsored by the Office of Family Engagement and Equity and supported by the family engagement staff, district administrators, parents and support staff. Thank you to all those who contributed to the success of our 2016 Black Parents Affinity Group Retreat. Special thanks to Dr. Evans and Javetta Cleveland for taking time on a Saturday to engage our families, to Pamela Harrison-Small for facilitating the event, and to Mark Coplan for documenting the event.
Contact the Office of Family Engagement and Equity at 510-644-8991, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to participate and stay involved.