Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
Honorees to be recognized at the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 21, 2019)—National PTA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award. The award honors one state, one district/council/region and one local PTA for achievement in the areas of diversity and inclusion.
This year’s recipients are:
- Colorado PTA
Colorado PTA has been focused on educating and preparing its Board of Directors to ensure that diversity and inclusion are embedded throughout all PTA work. Of particular note is a training on microaggressions and terminology that they developed and provided to the entire Board of Directors as well as to PTA councils in Colorado. In addition to the training, the state’s field service team has been preparing a diversity and inclusion campaign for the 2019 Colorado PTA Convention, consisting of proactive and encouraged conversations about the importance of diversity and inclusion. Through the campaign, Colorado PTA will also promote its new diversity toolkit, which will be available to members in the upcoming school year.
- Durham Council of PTAs (Durham, N.C.)
Durham Council of PTAs has made an intentional effort to diversify its Board of Directors to ensure it represents the population it serves, as well as to educate the community about critical diversity and inclusion issues such as minority engagement, inequities in education, microaggressions, racial biases and cultural competency. Durham Council of PTAs also holds a series of trainings each year for PTA leaders, offering resources and materials to ensure they lead their PTAs with inclusion at the forefront. Durham Council of PTAs plans to continue to develop workshop topics as well as educate school personnel, leaders and school board members on barriers to parental engagement and equity and inclusion opportunities.
- Roger Sherman PTA (Fairfield, Conn.)
Roger Sherman PTA has focused on diversifying its leadership and membership by identifying obstacles that impact family engagement, brainstorming ways to overcome the obstacles and revising its outreach efforts. These efforts have included shifting PTA meetings from mid-day to evenings and livestreaming each meeting; creating scholarships for PTA membership and for admission to events; offering programs to accommodate families facing socioeconomic barriers; and expanding their Roger Sherman PTA Diversity Day to Diversity Week, focusing on kindness and inclusion (anti-bullying), learning abilities (empathy training for physical and mental disabilities/differences), and family, cultural and gender diversity. Roger Sherman PTA also created a new program called JAWS (Just Ask, We Serve), which matches new families with senior families to serve as a contact and ensure new families feel welcome.
“Our school communities are incredibly diverse, and it is essential that all families feel welcomed and that the perspectives and needs of all families are represented and supported,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “The efforts of Colorado PTA, Durham Council of PTAs and Roger Sherman PTA in the areas of diversity and inclusion have resulted in positive change. We are thrilled to recognize them with the 2019 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award.”
The Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award is named after past National PTA President (2007-2009) Jan Harp Domene, who was dedicated to ensuring that families of all backgrounds felt welcomed in PTA and their school communities.
Colorado PTA, Durham Council of PTAs and Roger Sherman PTA will be honored with the award during the 2019 National PTA Convention & Expo in Columbus, Ohio. The PTAs will also receive a $1,000 grant to further their efforts.
“It is critical that we recognize, value and embrace the diversity of our communities to create inclusive school environments and ensure that all families feel welcomed, engaged and supported,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We are looking forward to recognizing achievement in diversity and inclusion and celebrating Colorado PTA, Durham Council of PTAs and Roger Sherman PTA’s efforts at our annual convention.”
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 family engagement 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. For more information, visit PTA.org.