By Dianne Anderson for PRECINCT REPORTER NEWS APRIL 6, 2023
Critical race theory in school curriculum stirs up resistance everywhere, and that’s where Trina Greene Brown comes in with Parenting for Liberation, teaching Black parents how to teach their children what traditional schools won’t touch.
Her nonprofit offers support and tools to recover from the historic trauma of exclusion.
Parents come together at her Black Parent Innovation Lab, to learn to tackle the issues that are attacking their families. They come up with creative learning projects, and work out new ways of weaving Black history into learning.
Paying it forward is important to her, she said. It’s the same way that she was able to start her parent outreach because someone invested in her idea.
“We bring Black families together to research their ideas, we give them funding to test their ideas and provide wraparound support and training. We did that over the course of six months and we graduated eight Black parents,” she said.
She also feels that parents must resist the idea that they don’t know the right way to teach their own children. She said their program is creating ways for their children to see themselves in the curriculum, both inside the homes and outside of classrooms.
“We do have expertise. We have a right as Black people to learn our real history, our real true culture,” said Greene Brown, who also teaches African American studies at Cal State University, Fullerton.
Funding for her program comes by way of the Orange County Community Foundation, which she said has paved the road to collaborations and amplifying the voices of many nonprofits through the African American Alliance Fund. Through the affiliation, she has been able to connect with the cohort of other grant recipients, and make several positive indirect connections.
She spoke with a panel of grantmakers, which also led to a funder that funded her work. The experience has been invaluable for many reasons.
“But it’s also a commitment and a shift away from competition from fighting over scarce resources, to see there are more resources available, rather it’s how can we come together to leverage all of our power,” she said.
Parent power also manifests in other forms.
“We do have expertise. We have a right as Black people to learn our real history, our real true culture,” Trina Greene