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Parents as Partners for the Portland Promise - Part 1

Join us virtually on Thursday, March 23 from 6:00-7:30pm as well as in-person on Tuesday, April 11 from 6:00-7:30pm at East End Community School! Parents/caregivers are highly encouraged to register for and attend both sessions. 

Part 1: Parents as Partners for the Portland Promise:

Mindsets, Tools, & Practices for Building Bridges Across Difference

Thursday, March 23, 2023 | 6:00-7:30pm | Virtual via Zoom

Building on the January 26th Reimagining session Outreach and Partnership with Multilingual Families: Strategies and Best Practices designed for those involved in their PTO, this first session of a two-part series will engage participants in a fun and interactive exploration of the more personal aspects of engaging with people who hold different identities from ours. What does it mean to be a PPS parent/caregiver in support of the Portland Promise? What are the tangible actions we as individuals must take to breath life into the aspirations described in the Parent & Family Manifesto? How do we need to show up for our students who are attending schools alongside children whose identities and lived experiences may be different from ours? What mindsets, tools, language, and practices can help us deepen our capacity for coming into right relationship with others, and building bridges across difference? Participants will come away with new awareness, skills, language, and tools that can be put to use immediately in pursuit of an intention they set for themselves at the end of this session.

Part 2: Parents as Partners for the Portland Promise

Peer Coaching & Practice for Building Bridges Across Difference

Tuesday, April 11, 2023 | 6:00-7:30pm | In-Person @ East End Community School

In this second session of a two-part Parent University series, participants will come back together to share and discuss their experiences putting new bridge-building tools, skills and language into practice. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect, connect with their peers, deepen relationships, receive coaching, and immerse in a brave space designed for shared exploration of ways to continue making good on their personal commitment and work as a parent/caregiver partner for the Portland Promise.

About Kate O’Brien

Kate O’Brien is founder and principal consultant of Catalyst Collaboratives, a small consultancy focused on helping clients co-create, navigate, and manage change that is rooted in equity and anti-oppression, and in pursuit of belonging, justice, and collective liberation. Based in Portland, Maine, Kate supports her clients by building and leading purposeful teams that provide culturally and emotionally competent, collegial support through each step of the journey to create something new, leveraging the synergy created when human beings connect in shared purpose and co-create cultures of care and belonging. 

Trained as a social worker, Kate began her career as a case manager for people with serious and persistent mental illness. After navigating the behavioral health system and economic and social systems-level challenges intertwined with it, Kate moved into the environmental justice and community development field. As a white cis-gender woman working alongside colleagues and communities of color, Kate has spent two decades learning to build bridges across difference by nurturing authentic relationships, and reflecting deeply on the ways power, privilege, and identity intersect and influence systems, interactions, and outcomes. Kate relates these experiences and perspectives to her clients, friends, loved ones, and peers, encouraging them to do their own deep work to heal, learn, and get into "good trouble".

Kate is the proud parent of two students who attend Portland Public Schools, where she volunteers as a parent and family organizer. A lover of nature, Kate also enjoys outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding, and gardening. She is currently serving in her second term as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Portland Trails.