Amplify Blog

Insights and ideas directly from New Profit

July 26, 2019

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Transforming education systems requires informing and organizing parents so they can build their infrastructure of parent power to create and sustain change.

July, 2019 (Boston) New Profit, a venture philanthropy organization that has backed some of America’s highest impact education social entrepreneurs, is sharing new resources on how nonprofit entrepreneurs and their philanthropic allies can build an infrastructure of parent power to drive systems-level change in education.

This work is part of our April launch of www.parentpowerined.org, a web-based set of tools and resources created through a collaboration with 18 leading organizations in the parent empowerment space dedicated to supporting parent-led efforts to improve education and life outcomes for underserved communities.  

Alex Cortez, the site author explains, “an organization informing and organizing parents has to first be deliberate about which combination of four parent empowerment strategies it plan to use to drive change. Then an organization needs to decide which combination of seven roles parents must play in building an infrastructure of parent power to succeed at those strategies. Finally, an organization needs to determine the specific measures for each role to be able to manage – before, during and after a campaign – how successful it is at building that infrastructure.”

DC-based Parents Amplifying Voices in Education (PAVE) is a New Profit grantee that has built its skills in supporting parents in their journey across these roles to ensure parents are, 'in the room where it happens', including parents assuming positions of formal authority – elected, appointed or employed – to drive change in their communities.

Maya Martin Cadogan, founder and CEO of PAVE, shares that, “We leave no talent and passion on the table. We meet members of our community where they are... and If you give parents opportunity, their leadership and journey of empowerment extends in ways you can’t predict when you first meet them. Seed as many parent leaders as you can, and then cede authority to them so they can run with it.”

To learn more on building an infrastructure of parent power, please visit: An Infrastructure of Parent Power – The Magnificent Seven

To learn more from the PAVE example, please visit: “In the Room Where It Happens’ — Parents Assuming Formal Authority to Drive Change

For more information on parent empowerment in education and how to use measurement to maximize impact, please visit www.parentpowerined.org or contact Alex Cortez at Alex_Cortez@newprofit.org.

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