What We Do
For decades research has shown life-long benefits to feeling a sense of belonging in a school community. Social connectedness and belonging drive happiness and engagement. Yet many, especially Black and brown students, struggle with realizing the benefits of belonging for myriad reasons.
Even more, the growing mental health challenges of students in "high-achieving schools" is epidemic (categorized for the first time ever by national mental health organizations as an at-risk group, alongside children in poverty, those experiencing trauma, and those in foster care or with incarcerated parents). Add in the Black and brown student experience of being one of a few or the only one in a grade and the challenges are probably greater. The US Surgeon General’s recent campaign to raise awareness of the impact of loneliness and isolation (akin to smoking 11 cigarettes a day) further highlights that our mission is needed now more than ever. Racial socialization is the antidote to isolation for Black and brown students.
Private School Village (PSV) is a first-of-its-kind parent-led 501(c)3 nonprofit organization addressing a generational experience of othering and belonging, or the lack thereof, for Black and brown families who often experience private schools in a disjointed way. This impacts all students, however. A growing body of research highlights that racial diversity in a school community yields stronger academic outcomes for ALL students. While it’s imperative that we address belonging and the things that foster or impede it for those from racially diverse backgrounds, it turns out the benefit is for everyone in the school community.
This is why PSV is vital – families across private schools partner to advance solutions that are school agnostic and more successful, in part because they come from the community most directly impacted. We are keenly focused on the art of inclusion and belonging while keeping mental health and the community centered in everything we do. We believe that a healthy education includes a community where students, parents, and schools are in partnership to ensure all students thrive fully. Collectively, we are working to increase racial socialization, racial literacy, representation and support related research. The PSV experience materializes with programs that fall within one of those four pillars and they leave members feeling profound pride, energy for our cause, a strong sense of validation, and unfiltered joy.
This impacts everyone in a school community.
We are realizing the benefits of belonging and creating a community of support like none other.
The Four Pillars of PSV
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." – Margaret J. Wheatley