Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives FAQ
What is the benefit of having diversity and inclusion practices within a committee or program?
Today’s society reflects a blend of different ethnic groups, cultures, traditions, languages, and family traditions.
Our communities and demographics are changing and will continue to evolve. Therefore, it is imperative that we have committees and programs in place to reflect the diverse interests of the people being represented.
Having a diverse organization is a wonderful opportunity to learn from each other while impacting positive change in a community.
A unified assembly of diverse individuals is one way to provide inclusiveness in decision making and representation to engage, educate, and equip new members to get involved in PTA initiatives and activities.
When leadership and committees reflect their communities, they are more likely to receive “buy-in” from the community and; therefore, are more likely to have a higher probability of support and success with their initiatives.
How can I get involved with diversity and inclusion initiatives within my local school or PTA?
If you are interested in volunteering or serving in a leadership position in your school community, please contact a PTA representative affiliated with the school. The PTA organization is looking for individuals with an interest and passion for serving our children and communities. You can schedule a meeting (or attend an event) to speak with a PTA leader or member to see where you may best serve.
What resources are available to get you started with a diversity and inclusion initiative?
Good news! There are numerous resources available to assist you. To get started, the National Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit has numerous resources to assist you and can answer many of your questions. Whether at the local or state level, there are approved resources to assist with creating a diversity committee, policies, identifying activities and events, and sharing inclusion best practices.
Additionally, there are resources to connect you with other local or state diversity leaders to assist you in your efforts.
How do you build and support multicultural growth?
Your organization can build and support multicultural growth by having a committed team with a united mission and vision. To extend your reach to attract new members, the leaders should provide ongoing communication through various channels (social media, email, letters, and website) to inform and educate the community about your initiatives, activities and events.
Plan quarterly recruiting social events to target demographically underrepresented groups and provide a warm and inviting atmosphere.
Face to face relationship building is very important for some cultures so create a strategy for engaging individuals when they attend your events.
When a PTA organization models great leadership, integrity, and transparency, those qualities can be a catalyst to engage new members and affiliates to “buy-in.”
When individuals see and hear about positive results and feel welcomed, they will want to get involved and invite others.
What is the role of the Diversity Chair at State level?
The role of the Diversity Chair at the State level is to assist the PTA programs throughout the state with diversity initiatives, activities, and events. This person should have a strong interest in ensuring that diversity and inclusion programs throughout the state are in compliance with the national policy and reflective of their communities.
The diversity chair should be a leader in spearheading and supporting diversity efforts throughout the state and serve as a liaison to the national diversity committee. This person should work closely with the State President for recruitment, minority leader identification, and membership increase especially to address representation gaps and reach out to teachers, administrators, and youth, and engagement activities.
Why is it important to have a Diversity Chair?
It is important to have a Diversity Chair to provide leadership, support, and encouragement for local, council and district diversity and inclusion initiatives. Having a point of contact to provide guidance and assistance for programs throughout the state allows for cohesion and consistency of diversity initiatives.
How does the PTA National Diversity Committee support the local and state organizations?
The National Diversity Committee’s goal is to serve as a resource and partner with state diversity and inclusion programs to provide leadership, guidance, and support to assist them with their diversity and inclusion initiatives.
The National PTA Diversity Committee recently created an online Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit to provide resources 24/7 to help throughout the year.
If applicable, the National PTA Diversity Committee can provide training recommendations for your organization, recommend speakers and activities, and provide leadership support with some of your diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Why is it important to make accommodations for members in which English is not their first language?
A key factor with lack of growth and engagement is poor communication. If an organization is trying to grow and engage membership, but cannot effectively reach the designated audience, than that organization will have some challenges attracting new members.
Today, there are numerous languages spoken all across the U.S. Identify the major languages spoken in your local region or district, and provide literature to educate, equip and inform your targeted members.
Additionally, provide an interpreter at meetings and events to help foster positive outreach to draw and attract new members.
Why is it important to host and implement EML conferences at the State, Region/Council/District level?
Hosting and implementing an EML (Emerging Minority Leader) conference at various levels allows PTA members in different regions across the U.S. to assemble together to network, share best practices, and build new relationships.
The EML conference provides an environment to train minority leaders and offers a platform for PTA members to present workshops to develop their skills. Oftentimes, people who serve in leadership positions are very busy so the EML Conference allows those individuals to step away from their day-to-day tasks and focus on diversity initiatives for a couple of days to re-energize and recharge to keep them motivated as they move forward in their efforts.