Parent Pathways: Why & How To Create Them

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As a parent, creating ways to influence the culture of an independent school community requires some insight, courage, and strategy. If you don’t already know it a top notch education, particularly one that is predominantly white and privileged, can be challenged by implicit and explicit biases. Often experienced as micro or macro aggressions, over time it is a lot to unpack. But, for many parents, the educational gains can be worth the investment and effort when balanced with strategic parent partnerships.

We believe parents are responsible for partnering and leading on behalf of their children leaving school communities stronger than when they first enrolled. Families of color should not shoulder this responsibility alone. Independent schools play a vital role in creating the pathways for cultural competency and social justice.

Just before the Spring Break, RIISE had the pleasure of working with parents that deserve a shout out for resilience and good strategic planning! Both have developed dynamic parent affinity groups and like other parent networks, they are a great partner and resource for making school communities better.

RIISE supports indy school parents of children of color to identify the benefits of parent affinity groups. FOCUS (Families of Color United For Students) at Brooklyn Friends School, recently hosted RIISE’s awesome panelists—indy school alum/counselor, Rashidah Bowen White and alum/educator, Akim St. Omer discussing Socialization—How Students of Color Navigate Independent School Culture.


School of the Holy Child-Rye (gaining consensus on group name!) is actively discussing and gaining buy-in for their leadership roles that help create and celebrate successful outcomes for students.
“RIISE, thank you for your guidance. We really found what works for our community.” Jasmine Bellamy, Co-chair Parent Affinity Group

We know how important affinity groups are to any organization. They foster clear benefits like leadership, development, recognition, acknowledgment, marketing and recruitment in independent schools! Contact for information on affinity group workshops.


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