In PLAN in the News

Leadership Equity, Advocacy & Democracy Program Updates 

By Demetria Huntsman

I’m excited to share that we have filled two positions in LEAD Program!


Minx Manuel.

Join me in welcoming Minx Manuel, Base-building Organizer for PLAN. Minx is a lifelong Oakland resident with a passion for serving youth. After attending Holy Names University and graduating from Samuel Merritt University in 2010, she decided to continue on the path of recreation and ultimately education for students with special needs. During that time, she was an outspoken advocate for her students’ rights and abilities in the classroom. Minx joined PLAN as a commitment to social justice in her city. She is also a parent of young twins and enjoys foreign films, science fiction/ fantasy novels, and exploring different cultures through food.

In her Base-building Organizer role, Minx will work with the Campaign and Organizing Lead to build a robust network of parent leaders from various cultures who organize families and community supporters to demand and co-create safe, equitable community schools where all students thrive and families are 100% Engaged! Minx’s focus is to develop the leadership of families in Bay Area communities whose children attend “low performing schools” to increase their skills and analysis to build unity among families in their schools and neighborhoods who believe children deserve education justice.  Through effective school-based and neighborhood engagement, leadership development workshops and campaign meetings, Minx activates families to take action and leverage their power to create systemic change in families, neighborhoods, schools and Bay Area districts.


Julián Rivera.

Join me in Welcoming Julián Rivera, Campaigns and Organizing Lead.  Julián, is a parent and well-seasoned organizer with incredible experience working with SEIU. Julián is Puerto Rican, is bilingual, and has an east coast background. Julián is a strategic thinker, world traveler and has lead organizing efforts with the most marginalized communities. He has a bright smile and remarkable ability to connect with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.  

In his role as Campaigns and Organizing Lead, Julián will work with parent leaders through facilitating workshops, training of trainers, overseeing internships and providing individualized coaching.  His work culminates leadership development for parent leaders and teachers to increase their knowledge, skills, and analysis to organize for unity in their schools and neighborhoods, specifically around campaigns designed to create meaningful shifts in policy, practices, and resources in schools, the district, and state.  Julián’s work will reflect alignment with the standards for transformative family and community engagement practices to ensure student success is met to address racial justice and promote equitable student outcomes.


PLAN attending Californians for Justice convening on LCFF.

Bay Area PLAN Organizing Committee Updates

Parent Leaders of the Organizing Committee represented the membership and their respective East Oakland communities by participating in the East Oakland Building Healthy Communities Education Convening.  This two-day event revisited the rich history of the East Oakland Communities and developing a strategic focus to close the equity gap for East Oakland Schools. In partnership with several community-building organizations, educators, organizers, youth, parents, and families, our Parent Leaders offered incredible insight and vision to the convening intensive.



Bay Area PLAN to Attend United Parent Leaders Action Network’s  National Conference

We are excitedly looking forward to participating in the upcoming United Parent Leaders Action Network national conference!  This conference, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, November 28-30 will mobilize parent leaders and parent-led organizations from across the country. This national gathering will work towards developing UPLAN’s vision for influencing policies that matter to families – especially families with young children. PLAN parent leaders and staff will have the opportunity to participate in workshops on policy issues, organizing, leadership development strategies, communications, and fundraising.  PLAN participants will also have the opportunity to share input in shaping the national movement for UPLAN in developing its goals, strategies, and structure for 2018.  This is an incredible networking and relationship building platform to connect with other parent leaders from across the country. We are immensely grateful for the travel grant provided by the Akonadi Foundation to ensure we have eleven participants in attendance! Stay tuned for the local report back upon our return.


Emily Roussos, Teacher Fellow in classroom Madison.

New Fellow Joins the Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents Program (LEAP)
By Monica Green

Meet Emily Roussos, PLAN’s first Teacher Fellow, and a Madison Park Academy (MPA) Kindergarten teacher who brings to OUSD six years of classroom experience. Strategic goals for the fellowship include:

  • Answer parents’ major question “How can I assist in my child’s academic success,” through a series of Pop-Up workshops
  • Demystify classrooms by working  with other teachers to offer  parents an MPA tour, and
  • Lead the MPA community in establishing a Volunteer Committee and system to increase parent-teacher partnerships.

Ms. Emily looks forward to growing in her ability to be an equal partner with families.  LEAP looks forward to her enthusiasm to help build sustainable family engagement systems.


Madison Parent Action Team Mtg.

New Fellow Joins the Leaders for Engaged and Active Parents Program (LEAP)
By Sasha Shane

During the first month of school, the Parent Action Teams (PATs) at Reach Academy (Reach) and Madison Park Business & Art Academy (Madison) gathered critical information from families through what we call  “listening campaigns.”  These campaigns included collecting information from parents through surveys, phone banks, and canvassing at our LEAP school sites.  The PATs were able to identify parents’ priorities related to family engagement and focused on two particular OUSD standards.  The family engagement standards to prioritized are “Parent Volunteering Program,” and developing “Shared Power & Decision Making.” We have reorganized the plan towards family engagement standards from “developing” to “thriving.” The efforts to engage families started on Saturday, August 19th during the first “Back to School” a BBQ at Reach.  PLAN supported the school event where backpacks were donated and bags of food was provided to families. PLAN supported school’s efforts to engage families the first day of school based on the two standards we will be focused – on signing up parents to participate in the School Site Council, Parent Action Team, and the Volunteer program. During September, both REACH and Madison had their first Parent Action Team meetings. Parents are excited to start the work at their site. Parents have expressed their desire to support the volunteer program, and are starting to form the volunteer committees. At the moment LEAP is searching for Parent Fellow who can support the organizing efforts at both sites.


LEAP family.

Complete Our PLAN Parent Survey

PLAN is always seeking ways to give parents a voice in our community, especially when supporting their student’s learning. We want to know how we can better provide services and connect the issues that you find important at their school sites as well as across the district. Please share with your parent networks!

Start the survey here!


PLAN student interns, Piper Asten & Elouise Del Rosario, from SFSU.

PLAN Student Interns Start!

Additionally, we have partnered with Alicia Garza, founder of Black Lives Matter, to host student interns from San Francisco State University (SFSU).  These student interns are enrolled in Ms. Garza’s Race, Class and Gender studies course. Their focus has been data collection and data management towards coalition building for Leadership Equity, Advocacy & Democracy (LEAD) program campaigns. Both student interns will complete a total of 40 hours of volunteer time with PLAN over the remainder of the fall semester, concluding December 2017. SFSU interns have been instrumental in supporting organizing efforts.



Network for Public Education Conference 

October 14-15, 2017

Oakland Marriott City Center – 1001 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607

Register Here!

Bay Area PLAN Presentations & Workshop

Saturday, October 14th |10:55am – 12:10pm

Successful Collaborations Between School Board Members and Community and Parent Groups: What Works and Doesn’t with Inside/Outside Strategies

We want to help other board members and community and parent groups learn from our experiences about how to use inside/outside strategies; what has worked for us and what hasn’t.

Shanthi Gonzales, Oakland School Board Member, Oakland Unified School District

Amy Frogge, Board Member, Metro Nashville Public Schools

Katy Nunez-Adler, Lead Education Organizer, OCO

Pecolia Manigo, Executive Director, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network

Building Parent Power for Education Justice

Sunday, October 15th | 8:15am – 9:30am

The purpose of this session is to uplift the organizing efforts in Oakland, California to create transformative family engagement. Co-presented by PLAN leaders and the Executive Director, this workshop would highlight Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network’s two core programs: Leadership, Equity, Advocacy and Democracy (LEAD) Organizing Program and the Leaders for Engaged and Active Program (LEAP). Through sharing of program models, parent leader testimonies and evaluation data, the workshop will support participants to understand the impact of building parents’ skills, knowledge and confidence to be leaders organizing for accountability of elected officials and school sites to create community schools that foster a excellent, quality education for students of color.

Bay Area PLAN Team

Pecolia Manigo, Executive Director

Monica Green, Family and School Partnership

Sasha Shane, Senior Parent Organizer

Demetria Huntsman, Director of Programs & Organizing

Utilizing a Quality Education Agenda to Build Support for Public Education

Sunday, October 15th |10:55am – 12:05pm

This session will go over the process the Berkeley Federation of Teachers went through to create a Quality Education Agenda. It will highlight the multitude of ways a Quality Education Agenda can build authentic community partnerships around support for public schools and educate the community of the dangers of privatization and high stakes standardized testing. It helps identify allies to support local issues and to use as a guiding resource to prioritize energy around political campaigns and resource allocation. Participants will establish goals of a Quality Education Agenda that pertains to their site or district. There will be time for participants to take the first steps in creating a plan of action to meet established goals for their site or district. The purpose is to help unions and teachers understand how to go about creating a Quality Education Agenda and how to use it effectively to build support for public schools and counter the privatization rhetoric.

Matt Meyer, Berkeley Federation of Teachers Vice President

Cathy Campbell, Berkeley Federation of Teachers President

Pecolia Manigo, Executive Director, Bay Area Parent Leadership Action Network






Families for Early Success Coordinator Position Open


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