Providing people with the resources and information needed to understand barriers to success is a key step in working toward positive social change so that strategies can be developed to remove or diminish those barriers. The Race Equality Foundation (REF), based out of the United Kingdom, is one organization that has done outstanding work in understanding the root causes of disadvantage and discrimination. The foundation produces a wealth of evidence-based research on a number a different topics affecting marginalized communities and makes these resources readily available to volunteers, practitioners and policy makers. Their research gives everyday people a set of skills and best practices that can help us overcome the obstacles of racism. Specifically, they concentrate on disseminating knowledge through educational workshops on the issues of health care, housing, social care and parenting support.
A Focus on Parents:
Parents play a crucial role in developing a child’s perception and comprehension of the world. Understanding this reality, REF is committed supporting parents in their programming. The Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities (SFSC) parenting program is a 13-week parent empowerment program geared toward marginalized communities and teen parents composed of five core values:
- Enhancing relationships
- Improving behavior
- Successful transition from childhood to adulthood
- Understanding ethnic, cultural and spiritual roots
- Ensuring the ongoing community support structure for each parent.
The program helps parents think about how their own experiences and cultural background shape their parenting style. It emphasizes the importance of modeling positive behaviors and most importantly, it focuses on the role of the community in successfully raising children and supporting their parents.
by Analia Alonso