Collaborative Parent Leadership Action Network (CPLAN) formed in 2015 as a diverse group of passionate parent leaders working together to amplify the voices of parents and community members in the city of Boston and gateway cities of Massachusetts. Leadership training, technical assistance, coaching, and community convenings are provided to develop the skills, confidence, and capacity of parents as leaders who then, in turn, utilize those skills within the wider community as they work on meaningful issues that matter to them. CPLAN’s capacity building and partnership efforts prepare leaders to achieve transformational, systemic change by disrupting the traditional ways their voices are undermined, ignored, or simply not represented.
To date, most of CPLAN’s work has been around education issues, identified by parents as the most critical need. In the education arena, CPLAN’s active membership is primarily parents, but also includes students, grandparents, educators, and community leaders who mobilize their peers through direct engagement in their schools and communities. Currently, CPLAN is working on two core objectives: to create more culturally responsive school climates in which students with diverse backgrounds, learning abilities, and experiences are supported to thrive, and to improve school culture/climate and increase access to high quality educational experiences and outcomes for students of color with social/emotional needs as a result of trauma for violence, homelessness, immigration, and poverty.
CPLAN is the only active organization led by a woman of color that works with all schools regardless of sector, partnering with district, charter, METCO, and parochial schools. CPLAN strives to define what a quality “whole child” education looks like for children, and works with policymakers, educators, and community leaders to shape this vision so that all students in all schools activate their full potential.