Why We Gather: Educational Empowerment and Academic Success Through Collective Black Parental Agency

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Raquel M. Rall


Though previous literature has explored the importance of parents in education, scholarship has failed to empirically demonstrate the influence voluntary parent groups have on the educational trajectory of Black students. Using institutional agency and community cultural wealth frameworks, the author qualitatively evaluates a Black parent group’s self-initiated efforts to influence the academic outcomes of high-achieving students. The author illustrates how one parent organization negotiates an environment in which their racial group comprises less than 5% of the population to effectively guide and support families as their students navigate academic success. Findings show that at least three critical components— accountability, alliances and networks, and legitimacy—are vital in the provision of collaborative support and agency on behalf of high-achieving students.

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