Contributor: Sahba Rohani, Director of Community Development at Community Roots
Two members from our team joined hundreds from across the United States at the conference of the National Coalition on School Diversity #NCSD2017 held in New York on October 20. The conference was entitled A Struggle We Must Win: Advancing School Integration through Activism, Youth Voice, and Policy Reform. It brought together educators, school leaders, policy makers, researchers, practitioners, and community organizers in the fight towards educational equity.
Roots ConnectED presented a workshop on Engaging Families in Diverse Schools: Innovative Approaches to Community Building, where we shared our I.N.T.E.N.T. framework. We believe that additional spaces need to be created for families to come together to share perspectives, engage in community building activities, and connect to their child’s experience in school in order to develop deep relationships with one another. Dr. Siddle Walker, Professor of Educational Studies at Emory University, stated that parents are not accidentally involved, but intentionally involved. In this same vein, I.N.T.E.N.T. captures the structure and approach we adopt when working with our stakeholders:
Intentional and safe spaces
No one shot deals
Explicit space for connection, reflection, and sharing of identity
Numerous entry points
The numbers matter: keep it small
Previous blog posts give specific examples of our I.N.T.E.N.T. framework in practice. It was such a pleasure to have the opportunity to share practical tools in the implementation of creating integrated school communities.