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Op-Ed: West Hartford Parent Community EDI Groups Reaffirm Commitment to Mission

The West Hartford Parent community Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion groups have issued a collective statement indicating their continued commitment to their mission.

Submitted

Over the past several years, West Hartford Parent Community Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Groups, through the work of volunteer caregiver members, has committed itself to take action on equity initiatives for impactful systemic change that will ensure all children have opportunities for educational success.

Across our nation, momentum has grown for inclusive, anti-racist, anti-bias curriculum initiatives and everyday equity practices in schools. Oftentimes, true progress, growth, and change is met with reticence and resistance rooted in misunderstanding or fear of the unknown. As such, some of our programs and initiatives, specifically a recent educational workshop for caregivers entitled Gender 101 with partners at New Haven Pride, have attracted local and national attention skewed by mischaracterization.

West Hartford Parent Community EDI Groups, as individual school-based groups and as a collective, provide resources, education, workshops, support, and more to families. We advocate for all children to have the freedom to thrive academically and socially in our schools by uplifting, empowering, and celebrating our children and each other. This work is vital to the health, safety, well-being, education, and future of each and every one of our children.

It is our charge as caregivers to ensure that all children who have experienced systemic inequities based on race, ethnicity, ability, socioeconomic identifiers, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion or any other way have access to what they need to thrive academically and socially – as part of our responsibility to our community as a whole. It is also our charge to ensure that children who have not experienced these inequities learn to stand and act in support of and in allyship with their peers for the betterment of our local and global communities.

Furthermore, we actively collaborate with community partners, be they grassroots efforts, West Hartford Public Schools and its Board of Education, and state or national organizations for a more equitable and just community for all.

We, the members of West Hartford Parent Community Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Groups will not be deterred. Leveraging our diverse membership, we will continue to:

  • work tirelessly for systemic change for the benefit of all of our children;
  • provide learning opportunities, community, and resources to equip caregivers to support and educate their children;
  • fight for those who have been traditionally marginalized to ensure equity and justice in our schools;
  • fearlessly advocate for all children to have freedom from inequity in order to thrive and achieve their greatest potential.

The purpose of the West Hartford Parent Community EDI Groups is to create a collaborative space for parents, educators, and community members to come together to listen, learn, and take action on equity initiatives for systemic change that will ensure all children have the opportunities for educational success. In 2017, the first parent-led, school-based Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion group was established. Since then, other EDI groups have been established at almost all public schools in West Hartford.

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