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National PTA Honors Achievement in Diversity and Inclusion

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Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
614-570-3922

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (June 26, 2020)—National PTA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2020 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award, which honors PTAs for outstanding achievement in the areas of diversity and inclusion.

This year’s recipients are: 

  • Austin Council of PTAs (Texas)

    Austin Council of PTAs goes beyond offering interpreters and translated flyers. Many of the PTAs in the council operate completely in Spanish, and nearly half of the members on the council board are bilingual in Spanish and English. Additionally, 80 PTA leaders from the council and Austin Independent School District campuses will be participating in Beyond Diversity, a two-day training that helps people learn about, talk about and confront inequities related to race. About 40 PTA leaders from the council will continue that work in the upcoming school year with half-day workshops every other month. Austin Council of PTAs Mini Grant Program is another way the council works to provide support to PTAs across the city with great socioeconomic diversity. Through the program, grants have been awarded to 10 PTAs for mentoring, a curriculum to teach science through dance, field trips, a PTA garage sale and fundraiser, a clothing closet and other programs. With some PTAs in Austin operating with six figure budgets and many more struggling to raise small amounts, this program helps send money to areas where it is most needed.

  • Pinellas County Council PTA (Florida)

    Pinellas County Council PTA has an intentional focus on diversity and collaboration in all that they do. The council expanded its board in order to invite more diverse perspectives to the table. In diversity, equity and inclusion trainings, they highlight the importance of having a PTA board that is reflective of the community. In addition to offering informational workshops for leaders, the council also engages members in hands-on learning opportunities. One of Pinellas County Council PTA’s greatest strengths is its ability to develop meaningful partnerships with other nonprofits. Partnering with organizations like LULAC, Unimex, Equality Florida and the NAACP has helped the council reach out to and advocate for marginalized communities. In particular, Pinellas County Council PTA’s partnership with its local NAACP chapter has resulted in a collaboration with local units on family engagement efforts. Pinellas County Council PTA plans to expand its offerings and host even more events that will provide members the opportunity to engage in discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion.

  • Hillside Elementary PTA (Michigan)
    Hillside Elementary PTA is committed to meeting the needs of all students through its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts as well as welcoming and celebrating all families. Hillside Elementary PTA serves a diverse community of families with over 40 languages spoken at home and over 50% of students who speak English as a second language. A unique program that the PTA hosted is a Cultural Game Night where the school community shared games from their country or culture. Throughout the school, games from all over the world were taught and played. The common theme of the night was how many of the games were alike and the event led to an appreciation of the similarities between cultures. Another program the PTA hosts, Dream Kings, is geared towards young African American men, and aims to help them realize their passions, purposes and powers. Hillside Elementary PTA participated in National PTA’s School of Excellence program, and they plan to use the results from the survey they conducted through this program to continue to enhance their efforts to make their PTA and school community, even more welcoming and inclusive.

“Being representative of the communities we serve and fostering an association where everyone belongs and has the opportunity to flourish enables us to best achieve our mission to make every child’s potential a reality,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “The efforts of Austin Council of PTAs, Pinellas County Council PTA and Hillside Elementary PTA in the areas of diversity and inclusion have resulted in positive change in their communities and made them an even more powerful voice for all children. We are pleased to recognize them with our 2020 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. The award recipients are selected by National PTA’s Diversity, Inclusion & Outreach Committee, which also works to ensure diversity and inclusion in PTA.

Austin Council of PTAs, Pinellas County Council PTA and Hillside Elementary PTA will be honored Wednesday, July 29 during a diversity, inclusion and outreach celebration as part of National PTA’s 2020 virtual convention. The PTAs will also receive a $1,000 award in recognition of their efforts to further their work.

“With schools facing challenges like shrinking budgets and increasing educational inequity, PTA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is more important than ever,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We applaud Austin Council of PTAs, Pinellas County Council PTA and Hillside Elementary PTA for their efforts to make their PTAs inclusive and meaningfully engage with all families, especially those who have been traditionally marginalized in our communities.”

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.