Dissertation

Creating Spaces for African American Parental Engagement in Schools with Predominantly LatinX Students

The purpose of this study was to identify ways in which schools can create spaces and partnerships for African American parental engagement in order to actively participate in the education of African American children in predominately Latinx schools. Understanding how African Americans and Latinxs relate to each other, how they navigate the spaces they share, helps illuminate the ways that race, color and class, always dynamic concepts and always intertwined, are evolving (Quigley, 2019). The researcher answered overarching questions with regard to the social, political, and economic challenges and perceptions of African American families in predominately Latinx Schools, the perceptions that African American parents may have about the school parent-community relationships in predominately Latinx schools that may influence their parental engagement behaviors, and the key strategies of schools to create spaces and partnerships for African American parental engagement. The Educational Justice theoretical framework was used in this study, which encompasses, critical race theory, cultural capital theory, and conflict theory. A case study was conducted of 10 participants that included African American parents and site principals. The findings were that African American parents did not directly express that their parental engagement behavior was influenced by being in a predominately Latinx school. There were various challenges; however, such as: language barriers, lack of African American parents and role models at schools, lack of African American images and curriculum, and strained relational experiences with teachers, administrators and peers. In this study, the key strategies to create spaces for African American parental engagement were: increasing events and programs for African Americans, increasing outreach to African American parents, and practicing cultural discernment and cultural proficiency for coalition building for African American and Latinx parent groups.

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