Reimagining the Village in Communities and Schools

Founded in 1997, the UCLA Parent Empowerment Project, housed in Center X in the Department of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles, has provided research-based professional learning experiences supporting schools, communities and families to develop, implement, nurture and sustain culturally relevant and responsive family and village engagement and parent leadership in schools.
Family walking to school

We Believe

  • Parents are experts and their children’s first and most important teachers;
  • Parents are powerful; thus, rather than parents serving as allies, schools serve as allies in supporting children;
  • Schools and families should always be learning from and with each other;
  • Solutions to engagement in schools are in the community;
  • Equity and a commitment to addressing implicit and explicit bias must be at the heart of the work of schools becoming more inclusive places for children and families.

Our Approach

  • We work with schools, families and community to co-construct a culture that is purposeful, intentional and inclusive of the diverse families schools serve.
  • We center the experiences and expertise of parents and families in our parent engagement efforts.
  • We utilize and build on the cultural wealth and knowledge of the communities with whom we partner.
  • We engage schools in critical practices around culturally relevant and responsive ways to engage families and communities, which includes addressing and repairing harm, establishing and maintaining trust and building relationships rooted in reciprocity for the betterment and academic success of students.
Family at School