Photo Credit: Michael Mayson
After several years of having the same conversation about the lack of diversity in private schools and worrying about the implications for our children, a few parents decided to stop talking and do something.
In August 2018, we created an opportunity to socialize with other Black/African-American families who also attended Los Angeles private schools. What started out with a simple email sent to less than 75 friends to socialize at a park quickly turned into a contact list of over 500 families in over 30 private schools. The response to this initial outreach validated that there was a very strong need for our community to connect.
Many families, like ours, appreciated the simplicity of providing a way to get together—no expectations of having vendors or food on site, no pressure to volunteer or organize something unless interested, no requirements other than being Black/African-American and in private school, no pre-requisites or applications for anyone to submit—just a commitment to keeping things simple, social, engaging, and fun. This was the beginning of what would become the Private School Village (PSV).
PSV, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, builds community by organizing social events, sharing resources, and providing programs for Black/African-American families in independent schools (K-12). This fortunate yet sometimes marginalized group experiences a disjointed sense of community in the private school setting which impacts the ability to fully reach potential. Without a sense of belonging in the school community (along with the reasons why that is the case), there are often behavioral, psychological, and/or academic issues that can permeate life. Through PSV programs myriad issues are addressed–cultural identity, self-esteem, leadership skills, and more. PSV helps Black/African-American students realize their maximum potential by working alongside parents, students, and private schools.
Parents often understandably spend considerable time trying to get into private school, but it is crucial that African-American/Black families equally spend considerable time building connections with one another after admitted to the community. We need each other!
Through regular socialization and programs, our children will grow through the private school system, together, knowing that they have a larger community behind them that looks like them, lifting them up and providing support in a way that only can come from a group like ours. Afterall, it takes a village...
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All Photos Below (all but the image of 5 girls): Michael Mayson
"If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."
- African Proverb
The Private School Village (PSV) builds community by organizing social events, sharing resources, and providing programs for Black/African-American families in independent schools (K-12).
We build local communities that provide support and empower Black/African-American students in private school so that they realize their maximum potential.