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National PTA Hosts Emerging Minority Leaders Conference

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In an ongoing effort to further diversify its membership, the National PTA held its Emerging Minority Leaders Conference in Arlington, Va., last weekend.

The 8th annual event, which was held Oct. 11 through Oct. 13, was created to inspire and educate minority PTA leaders, community advocates, educators, and parents to become even stronger leaders in their communities. 

In a June interview with Education Week, Otha Thornton, the first African-American man to head the National PTA, said that the organization's membership must become more diverse to be more effective advocates on behalf of the nation's children. Last year, Thornton noted that of the 1,087 state PTA board members, only 47 were Hispanic.

Alma J. Powell, chair of America's Promise Alliance, delivered the keynote address, emphasizing the vital role PTA leaders play in the lives of children both in school and at home. Aurelio Montemayor, a senior education associate at the Intercultural Development Research Association, and Calvin Mackie, a motivational speaker and author, also gave addresses.

Conference attendees participated in workshops that tackled a range of topics, including building advocacy campaigns, improving graduation rates and recruiting more minority men to become involved in the PTA.

Thornton also was recently featured on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Education Week's Mark Walsh wrote about his appearance here.

See our full coverage of parent empowerment issues. 

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