Kindred is serious about measuring our impact. In 2016-17, its first year, Kindred organized two parent dialogue groups at Marie Reed Elementary School in Washington, D.C. We hired the Urban Institute to evaluate the impact of our work on parents. In June 2017, Urban Institute conducted surveys and focus groups to assess participant perceptions of Kindred’s program and staff.
The evaluation measured outcomes from Kindred’s activities associated with parent beliefs and actions. According to the Kindred logic model, parents’ participation in Kindred activities (i.e., dialogue groups and taking collective action) will change their beliefs, values and networks, especially as related to building empathy, valuing diversity, expanding their locus of control and diversifying their social capital networks.
The survey results and focus groups revealed a strong connection between Kindred’s activities and its logic model. Parents described positive and even transformative experiences as a result of their participation in the program.
Please read the full study here: Kindred-Urban Pilot Study 2017
Diversity is a buzz word. There aren’t many safe places to talk about the difficulty of diversity – the fear, the bias. I hold myself back because I don’t want to look different or stupid. Diversity becomes very rich when you can start talking with each other. This has been so unique. I don’t know any other group where you can do that.”
-Marie Reed Parent
“It’s the unspoken that hinders children’s lives.” – DC parent
Kindred brings together 15-20 parents who represent the racial and socioeconomic diversity of the student body to meet twice per month over the school year. During these meetings, parents bond through facilitated dialogues about identity, race, equity and aspirations for their children. Their bonds lead them to support each other with ideas and resources to raise their children with the values and skills to succeed in the 21st century economy. In the second year, with Kindred’s support, these founding parents lead their own discussion groups, multiplying impact and reaching approximately 20 percent of the parent population by the end of year.
Kindred helps parents convert the empathy and cultural competency strengthened through parent fellowships into actions that address the root cause of the opportunity gap in their schools. The issues and actions are identified by parents, and may include a range of interventions, from making family school events more inclusive to developing new ways for parents to build relationships to creating specific academic programs that provide extra resources to students who need them.
Kindred supports parents to transform their school’s parent organizational bodies into equity-driven action groups. For example, parent-teacher organizational leadership and membership would change to reflect the school’s diversity, and the voices of traditionally marginalized families would influence decisions such as how the school’s budget should be allocated. In the broader community, a diverse coalition of families will fight together for policy changes that support equity and diversity in schools.