Friday, March 6, 2009

California Travels: Cultivating Respect in the Golden State

It was raining and pretty cold in northern California this past weekend – but I have no doubt that the sun is about to shine brighter for some students.

The PFLAG chapters in Shasta County and Placerville both hosted day long Cultivating Respect trainings that brought parents, community organizers, therapists and teachers together to work on creating safe schools for all students. All told, we had over 35 smart, caring, funny, and dedicated members who wanted to work together to build community and learn ways of approaching various people in schools to let them know what they can do to begin or continue this important work. Although the days were long, the energy and commitment were stronger, and I believe we will see exciting programs and resources being brought into the schools as a result. I want to thank of all you who attended and I look forward to working with you as you plan and implement your projects. As I said in the trainings – as much fun as we had – it will all be a failure if we don’t use our voices and collective smarts to make real and lasting change in the schools.

I would like to add a very big thank you to Cesar Hernandez, the Western Field and Policy Manager and Pam Whitely, the Regional Director of the Mid- Pacific region, for joining me in both of the trainings. Your participation and guidance added greatly to the training and I appreciate your on-going support for his work.

And a very special thanks to George and Elsie Wilkins in Shasta and Rita Timewell and Stephanie Carlson in Placerville for being fabulous hosts and providing us all we needed to make it a great training.

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