SRV Council PTA Statement on Inclusive Event Planning
“PTAs everywhere must understand and embrace the uniqueness of all individuals, appreciating that each contributes a diversity of views, experiences, cultural heritage/traditions, skills/abilities, values and preferences. When PTAs respect differences yet acknowledge shared commonalities uniting their communities, and then develop meaningful priorities based upon their knowledge, they genuinely represent their communities. When PTAs represent their communities, they gain strength and effectiveness through increased volunteer and resource support.” CAPTA Inclusion & Diversity
The San Ramon Valley Council of PTAs (“Council”) is committed to supporting our units in their efforts to continue to develop effective family engagement opportunities that are inclusive. PTA leadership, as community representatives, should collaborate with school administration to identify and eliminate barriers to family engagement related to race, ethnicity, culture, socioeconomic status, family structure, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and religion.
Council strongly encourages units to offer inclusive events. We value inclusion and diversity of our various communities. Culture, family structure, gender and sexual orientation should not deter participation in PTA events. Families and students should not need to call out their differences to feel included.
Gender-neutral events are more welcoming and culturally inclusive. A majority of units in the SRVUSD have replaced gender-specific events with gender-neutral ones. Parent-child events need not be cancelled; rather, the nomenclature is changing with the times. Units have received positive responses to events such as “Pastries with Parents,” “Family Dance,” “Sweetheart Dance” or “VIP Dance”. These are just a few creative ways to use language to foster inclusion.
PTA stands for “All Children, All Families” and our motto is “Every Child, One Voice.” National and California PTA have long encouraged PTA units to plan events that are inclusive. Inclusive events more effectively serve all children and all families and lead to greater parental and community engagement, which benefits every child. We recommend that unit Presidents collaborate with their principal on inclusive language and events so that students and families are always welcome to events sponsored by the PTA.