Organizing for Change: Family Engagement & Organizing
We show up, we speak up, we reach out, we vote.
In our efforts to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to graduate from high school prepared for college, we need to be sure that decision-makers hear us and take action. Through family engagement and organizing, we engage individuals with common goals, amplifying their voices for greater influence.
Organizing is a way to purposefully bring a large group of people together and empower them to create change. When individuals are personally impacted by certain issues they show up, speak out, and vote; these activities combined have an impact on the decision-makers. Organizers educate community members to come together as an extraordinary force for change.
At Stand, we have 4 key steps to organizing for change. We:
- Educate parents and community members on the issues.
- Build teams of members with team leaders.
- Develop leaders’ and members’ skills, knowledge, and confidence.
- Mobilize teams to take action on issues and electoral campaigns.
Our organizing work encompasses multiple activities. Ways in which community members engage with us include:
- Our family engagement program, Stand University for Parents (Stand UP). Stand UP, which is an initiative of the Stand for Children Leadership Center, is a 6-week course for parents and guardians that focuses on actionable steps they can take to get involved in their children’s academics.
- Educational opportunities, like workshops, community forums, and presentations.
- Hosting or attending house parties or other small-group gatherings.
- Mobilizing and taking action directly with decision-makers through: testimony, petition drives, meeting with legislators or School Board members, Lobby Days, phone banks, canvasses.
- Becoming an official leader or member of Stand for Children.
Stand members from our Boston, Springfield, and Holyoke chapters advocate for a variety of education issues, ranging from increasing parents’ role in school governance, to providing additional extended learning time, to expanding school autonomies.