December 15, 2023

Empowering Voices: Looking Back on the Parent & Provider Activist Summit

On November 4th, a vibrant and passionate community of parents and childcare providers came together at the Imagine Black office to attend the Parent & Provider Activist Summit. The event was kicked off by Reyna Lopez of PCUN and Candice Vickers of Family Forward and aimed to build political power for marginalized communities and families. 

After a brief introduction, Meredith Wadlington of Unite Oregon skillfully facilitated a jam board activity where attendees shared their experiences with childcare, fostering a sense of connection and understanding among the diverse group. We collected the results and have an archive available here. 

The heart of the event was the panel discussion featuring Lisa Ebony Amador and Tamara Williams Tervalon. The panelists shared their unique perspectives on providing childcare and raising children of color. Their experiences shed light on the challenges faced by parents and childcare providers, including the frequent and backward suggestion that parents place their children in foster care in order to get out of poverty.

Marisol De La Torre of Unite Oregon led a captivating workshop on the power of personal stories in advocacy, amplifying the impact of the day's discussions. The storytelling session encouraged participants to share their experiences, creating a platform for powerful narratives that can drive change. Many of these parents and providers are planning to take their stories to their legislators. 

Courtney Veronneau of Family Forward recapped the day's key points and emphasized the unity of our purpose. We took a group video demanding that the Oregon Legislature fund childcare. After we closed, we spent lunch in community with one another. Attendees went home with new children's books and a goodie bag with locally made swag, including custom water bottles, boo boo packs, and small succulents.

The Parent & Provider Activist Summit in Oregon served as a platform for dialogue, empowerment, and a call to action. It was a testament to the strength of community voices coming together for kids. We look forward to witnessing the continued impact of this gathering as these voices resonate beyond the event, driving positive change for Oregon's families.