We are excited to present the first FLDC report, “Toward a Transformative Research and Practice Agenda for Racial Equity in Family Engagement.” This report is the result of a co-design process including organizers, practitioners, and academics at our 2015 and 2016 national convenings. Over the course of four gatherings, FLDC members worked to develop an agenda that centers family expertise and leadership in creating equitable student learning and systems from early childhood through secondary schooling. We sought, in our conversations and our analyses, to embrace the inherent contradictions and tensions as generative opportunities to expand our collective understandings and vision of transformative possibilities.
FLDC members identified a set of aperturas, or strategic “openings,” for theorizing and co-designing community wellbeing and educational justice. Born out of critical pedagogy, the term “aperturas” is a Spanish word that emerged to describe the convergence of personal, political and social phenomena that brings a group of people together to create transformational change for students, families, and communities. These aperturas represent different entry points for new research and intervention that reconfigure nondominant families and communities in racial equity.
These aperturas would form the basis for a set of ten participatory design research projects run by partners across the country.