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Alexandria’s Parent Leadership Training Institute Awarded $250K Racial Justice Initiative Grant

Community participants from the 2019 PLTI Alumni Racial Equity Forum'(Photo: Zohreh Khoshnamark/Courtesy of PLTI)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), based in Alexandria, has been awarded a $250,000 grant by the Horning Family Foundation as part of the foundation’s Racial Justice Initiative (RJI). PLTI is slated to receive $50,000 a year over a five-year period beginning in 2022.

In all, Horning chose 11 organizations that, according to  a page on their website, work to better “one or more of the following systems: criminal legal system, a transformative justice, housing, education, employment and economic justice, health, and media and communications.” One other focus is “abolishing carceral systems.”

PLTI’s Mission Statement says their purpose is to “enable parents to become leading advocates for their children. Parents’ opinions are often unheard. They may lack advocacy skills, but not the motivation or will to change their children’s lives. PLTI teaches parents to become practiced change agents for the next generation.”

What exactly is parent leadership? The concept is described as the ability for parents to participate in society in a way that will benefit their children.

With their efforts, PLTI has numerous goals, including assisting parents to develop into the leaders they envision. developing groups of parents that support each other, and multiplying parent and child interactions so that the child will experience successful outcomes more frequently.

The $2.5 million RJI launched this year as a response to the disproportionate impact of covid-19 on the Black community, as well as other people of color, and calls by activists for philanthropists to support the racial justice movement. The initiative supports Black-led organizing and advocacy to help ensure that peoples’ efforts and those of their affiliated organizations have long-term sustainability.

“This grant will help [PLTI] re-engage their Alumni network through planning meaningful community engagement around the eight topics that were discussed at the 2019 Racial Equity Forum,” said Eliza Engle, Graduate of Class 7 and current Chair of the Board of Directors. “We will also be working with other funding organizations to secure funds to restart our 20-week [PLTI} program that has helped transform parents, and other interested citizens, into engaged, community leaders in the City of Alexandria.”

Topics covered during the forum included: pedestrian safety;  sanitation, health, and community upkeep; law enforcement and police protection; recreation; city employment; housing; communication; and education.

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Kevin Dauray

Kevin is Publisher's Assistant with The Zebra Press. He has been working for Alexandria's "Good News" newspaper since 2019. A graduate of George Mason University, he earned a bachelor's in English with a concentration in Creative Writing. He also studied at the Columbia School of Broadcasting and holds a master's degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marymount University. He is an alumnus of T.C. Williams High School. Go Titans!

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