From “My Child” to “Our Children” – Fostering Positive Family Advocacy as a Path to Educational Equity

Please join us for a free seminar in Lived Places Publishing's Topics in Education Studies series: From “My Child” to “Our Children” – Fostering Positive Family Advocacy as a Path to Educational Equity.

About the Session

A conversation between Liz Dempsey Lee, author of Parents as Advocates: Supporting K-12 Students and their Families Across Identities and Janise Hurtig, Lived Places Publishing Collection Editor.

Family advocacy – the practice of families advocating for their school-aged children – is constantly evolving; indeed, family advocacy in schools is a reflection of this moment in time and of the various dynamics at work in society. In some ways, the dynamics of family advocacy have led to better education and stronger family-school relationships; in other ways, they have become louder and more contentious. More generally, family advocacy continues to be uneven across social identities, with some families being heard frequently and clearly, while others are not heard at all.

At times, families and educators alike approach family advocacy with trepidation. However, family advocacy does not have to be a scary prospect. Both parents and educators can walk into advocacy with a set of tools and strategies to navigate the moment, to pull forward the voices of families less heard and to harness the function of K12 education as a town forum.

In this conversation, we will discuss how recognizing and addressing family advocacy is critical to creating educational equity. We’ll also explore how conflict is a normal and expected byproduct of the family-school relationship and how demystifying and educating families around effective advocacy can build relationships and move educational communities from a focus on “my child” to a focus on “our children.”

This seminar is free to attend and open to all.

Date: Thursday, 25th April 2024

Time: 12:00-1:00pm EST (5:00-6:00pm GMT)

To attend, sign up at the following link: Register here

About the Speakers

Dr. Liz Dempsey Lee is an educator, consultant, and writer. Her field of expertise is in the interactions among and between families, schools, and communities, and how the concept of equity relates to those interactions. She strongly believes that equity is central to creating just schools, organizations, and communities, and through her company LizDempseyLee Consulting, she works with parents, students, schools, and organizations towards that goal.

Dr. Janise Hurtig is an educational anthropologist and community educator and researcher. Her teaching and writing take place at the intersections of adult and popular education, gender and feminism, community development and social change in the Chicago area and in Venezuela. Janise received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She is currently part-time faculty in DePaul University’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies, coordinator of the Community Writing Project, and an adult educator at the Howard Area Community Center.

About Liz Dempsey Lee’s book

Parents as Advocates: Supporting K-12 Students and their Families Across Identities explores how students, their families, and their teachers can all work together towards common educational goals.

Teachers want the best for their students, and a student’s family wants the best for them too. But what “best” looks like can be different for everyone. A student’s social identity and family context will have a significant impact on how they and their family define success at school. It is crucial for teachers to be aware of their own social identities, those of their students, and how these various identities might intersect, in order to understand what success might look like for each child in their classroom.

Exploring various aspects of social identity – including gender identity, race, ability and disability, and socioeconomic status– this book tackles the question of how teachers can work together with their students, as well as how social identity will inform various kinds of advocacy from parents, carers, and family. Vital reading for teachers and educators in practice and in training, this book features suggested discussion questions, practical extension activities, and real-life case studies from the context of K-12 schools in the US.

Available now in all formats.

More info:

For collection librarians: To add this book to your collection, please see

For notifications of future events and other news about this collection:

Please send questions or inquiries to Michael Boezi at michael [at] lived places publishing [dot] com


Written by: Eloise Cresswell

Published on:

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