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National PTA President to be Featured Panelist for White House and EBONY Magazine Summit Series on Educational Excellence for African Americans

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Heidi May, Media Relations Manager

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 17, 2014) — National PTA® is proud to announce that President Otha Thornton will be a featured panelist for a series of summits on educational excellence for African Americans hosted by The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and EBONY magazine. The 2014 summits will be held across the country throughout the year and are designed to stimulate discussion on ways individuals, families and communities can help accelerate efforts to close the achievement gap and ensure all African American students have access to high-quality learning and development opportunities. The series will kick off with a summit March 28-29 at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the important work of The White House Initiative on Education Excellence for African Americans and EBONY magazine to improve educational opportunities for all African American students,” said Otha Thornton, National PTA President. “It is critical that all students have access to opportunities that prepare them for success in the global workforce. I am thrilled to participate in the Summits on Educational Excellence for African Americans to help more students reach their full potential.”

The 2014 Summits on Educational Excellence for African Americans are part of The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans and the EBONY magazine series “Saving Our Sons.” The summits will bring together students, parents and guardians, educators, and community and faith leaders and connect them to programs and resources that support educational excellence and the holistic development of African Americans. The goals for the series include:

  • Raising awareness about the importance of investing in African American educational excellence to ensure African American students, schools and communities are supported in learning and development opportunities beginning at birth;
  • Highlighting individuals and organizations that are successfully supporting African American educational excellence; and
  • Supporting community engagement by creating opportunities for parents, grandparents, guardians and caring adults to increase the number of African Americans who graduate from high school prepared for future success.

President Thornton’s son, Otha Thornton III, also will serve as a panelist during the summit at Morehouse College. Thornton III is a member of National PTA’s Youth Involvement Committee.

For more information about the 2014 Summits on Educational Excellence for African Americans, visit

About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c) (3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.