The goal of co-design in South LA is to interrupt and shift power dynamics between school staff and low-income parents of color. It is centered on the work of CADRE, a parent-led community organization, in partnership with UCLA faculty.
CADRE was founded in response to Black South LA parents who wanted to take on anti-Black racism. They worked to build a movement stitched together from individual parent advocacy, collective campaigns for systemic change, and Black/Brown solidarity.
At CADRE, a core group of parent leaders make major decisions about the direction of the work. Core leaders:
- Take on SYSTEMIC change; that is, they change the rules of the game vs. taking more of the pie
- Take on school pushout to end the school-to-prison pipeline
- Commit to changing conditions for Black families so that conditions change for all.
CADRE engaged in two phases of co-design. Phase 1 involved parents identifying practices they could use to interrupt moments of tension and conflict with school staff. Phase 2 is focused on proactively preventing these moments, or addressing them in transformative ways.
One innovative tool that the South LA team uses in its co-design is role-plays. Role-plays can help people reflect on the powered tensions and “racialized scripts” that play out between educators and marginalized families. They can also be used to help explore how to transform those interactions.
For More Info
Check out CADRE’s website for testimonials, reports, and theories of change at https://www.cadre-la.org
CLICK HERE to read the FLDC research-practice brief on Re-imagining and Humanizing Parent-Teacher Conversations and Interactions through Role-Play
CLICK HERE to listen to an interview with CADRE Director Maisie Chin on community wellbeing and educational justice