Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (April 28, 2021)—National PTA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2021 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:
- Michigan PTA
This past year, Michigan PTA made a conscious effort to advance their diversity, equity and inclusion work by revising their policies, providing resources and trainings, and constantly being responsive to the needs of their communities. Michigan PTA’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Outreach Committee partnered with their Student Involvement Committee to produce a virtual town hall on “The Effect of Racial Trauma on Youth and Families in the African American Community,” as well as a second virtual town hall on “Uncomfortable, Necessary Conversations About Racial Trauma in Middle and High School Curriculums.” Additionally, the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Outreach Committee produced a webinar on “Equity in Special Education: Neurodiverse Populations.” Each event featured a diverse panel including teachers, administrators, parents, students and PTA leaders of different ethnicities and backgrounds. Michigan PTA has been intentional in amplifying anti-racist and social justice practices and policies in their PTA. They have also developed and maintained relationships with partners including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention—Michigan, Affirmations LGBTQ Community, Michigan Organization for Adolescent Sexual Health, NAACP, and ACLU, as well as with elected and appointed local and federal officials, to provide their membership with resources for the betterment of students and families.
- Chappaqua District PTA (New York)
Chappaqua District PTA is committed to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) by being intentional with their outreach to ensure that their leadership represents their community. They created community partnerships that support them in their DEI work. They also made a policy to include DEI training as part of their annual orientation for all Chappaqua District PTA officers. Twenty Chappaqua District PTA executive officers and 40 school-level PTA committee chairs participated in the course. Additionally, Chappaqua District PTA established a DEI committee at each of their six schools and shared these committees' updates and resources through their weekly PTA newsletters. Parents began to get involved with the DEI committees and established affinity meet-up groups, which increased communication and engagement between parents. Further, Chappaqua District PTA fostered a relationship with the Town of New Castle Committee of Race and Equity (CRE), the Horace High School BIPOC Student Union, and the New Castle Holocaust and Human Rights Committee, all of which support Chappaqua District PTA and help them to be responsive to the needs of their communities.
- Edgemont Montessori PTA (Montclair, New Jersey)
This past year, Edgemont Montessori PTA focused on establishing a solid foundation for their racial justice and diversity, equity and inclusion work as a PTA. Edgemont Montessori PTA’s Board is made up of 12 parents who collectively represent several demographic groups, including African American and Latino families, English language learners, single parents and parents of children with disabilities. Continuing to bring additional voices on the Board has been a priority for their nominating committee. Edgemont Montessori PTA also initiated programming including “Nice White Parents” podcast conversations and an “America To Me” watch group to build awareness about equity and engage in meaningful dialogue about being anti-racist in their operations, programs and services. Additionally, they organized assemblies highlighting leaders and voices from different communities and adjusted school celebrations and practices to more intentionally recognize and celebrate the different cultural beliefs and holidays represented in their school community. Further, Edgemont Montessori PTA has established intra-school partnerships with the School Action Team for Partnerships (SATP) Anti-Racism and Equity Committee to deepen their work and share resources across the district. They have also established other community partnerships with organizations similarly focused on increasing equity within the district, like the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence and the Montclair High School Black Student Union.
“Michigan PTA, Chappaqua District PTA and Edgemont Montessori PTA were chosen to receive our 2021 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award because of their intentionality in partnering with other school and community organizations to meet the needs of their communities,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “When we work together, we are an even more powerful voice for all children and families. We applaud the efforts of Michigan PTA, Chappaqua District PTA and Edgemont Montessori PTA that have resulted in positive change in their communities, and we are pleased to recognize them with our 2021 Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award.”
Michigan PTA, Chappaqua District PTA and Edgemont Montessori PTA will each receive a plaque and a $1,000 award in recognition of their efforts to further their work. They will also be honored during the 2021 National PTA Virtual Convention & Expo.
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.
“It is essential that we understand, value and embrace the uniqueness of all individuals, appreciating that each contributes a diversity of views, experiences, cultural heritage/traditions, skills/abilities, values and preferences—which enriches and strengthens our nation,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “When we ensure that all communities have a voice and that their perspectives and needs are represented, we gain strength and effectiveness in helping schools improve and ensuring all children realize their full potential.”
PTA is committed to advancing and ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels of the association. If you have witnessed or experienced bias in your PTA, please reach out to Diversity@PTA.org.
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.