It Takes a Village: Strengthening Parent Engagement for Racialized Youth
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This research paper set out to explorer the barriers and challenges of communication between racially marginalized parents and high schools. The aim was to examine ways that could potentially contribute to strengthening those relationships through communication, which could then help to address the academic gap for black students. The main themes that emerged from this study relates to how parent engagement is viewed, the modes of two way communication and its effectiveness, along with the need for community collaboration in the education experience of children from racial and marginalized communities. Through several individual interviews with parents and school staff, a critical race analysis was used. It was discovered that the traditional framework of parent engagement leaves racial and marginalized families at a disadvantage, as they are often viewed as disengaged in relation to traditional parent engagement framework. A major barrier continues to exist from historical biases and assumptions of racialized parent. This paper will highlight the barriers and challenges both schools and parents face, and strategies that can help strengthen two-way communication to build relationships. Future research may consider creating a less informal framework that is geared to specific community's needs.