PSV is a unique community of support, created for Black families by Black families. A highly collaborative organization, PSV brings together families and students from across private schools to share resources, centralize offerings, and truly build community. It is unlike any other organization. PSV works with:
Through regular socialization, cultural education, and events, PSV addresses the need to belong and feel supported, and in doing so, helps Black students have a greater chance to thrive. Feeling a sense of community in the school setting can positively impact self-esteem, contribute to a healthier outlook, and have lifelong implications.
PSV provides a community of support filled with shared experiences, helpful resources, and regular opportunities for education. PSV supports parents by discussing specific areas of need, such as dealing with teachers’ unconscious bias, advocating for children, the n-word, parenting tips, and more. PSV works to empower and encourage parents to be partners with their schools to best support students.
PSV works to introduce the private school experience to prospective families, enhance the experience of Blacks currently attending private schools and share resources and information that is in the interest of supporting the Black community. Through PSV, more satisfied and engaged families of color feel less marginalized and invisible in the private school setting.
By focusing on racial socialization, racial literacy, research, and representation, PSV is committed to improving the experience and well-being of Black students in private schools. PSV offers several inter-connected ways to significantly address the experience of Black families in private schools. These include:
Racial socialization prepares children for anticipatory experiences, builds Black pride, and educates about racial inequalities. PSV provides opportunities for children to see more of themselves—children experiencing the same unique school dynamics, albeit perhaps at different schools—through myriad community activities and events. By providing opportunities to socialize or convene around a topic of interest (e.g., financial literacy, hair, the n-word, etc.), PSV helps parents know their children will be surrounded by a community of peers who understand their daily school experience. These activities and events are a vehicle to educate students about a range of things from learning about Black history and cultural traditions such as how to “double dutch” to ensuring they understand how best to handle themselves if pulled over by a cop.
Racial literacy focuses on teaching how to identify, counter, and cope with racism. It is a practical, intentional effort designed to prepare and empower and involves understanding the intersections of power and race, recognizing racial systems, and adequately articulating racial terms. PSV offers a range of events designed to build racial literacy and strives to educate and arm families, from the earliest moments of joining the private school community, so that they are protected and prepared to thrive despite racial situations that often arise.
PSV purposefully works to increase representation by focusing on the growth and retention of current Black students and families. Through our events and programs, PSV fosters community and addresses feelings of isolation, strengthens a sense of belonging, and educates and empowers PSV parents to be more engaged and in partnership with their school communities. A core component of focusing on growth, retention, and building community is the PSV Parent Ambassador Program. Parent Ambassadors make themselves available to speak to prospective families, and they work alongside their schools to further a range of related diversity and inclusion efforts, such as recruiting and retaining Black families. They also support current families, particularly newly-enrolled families, to ensure they know about our community and help in their school experience. Minimally, the PSV Ambassador Program bolsters word of mouth among current and prospective parents, which has a tremendous impact on retention and recruitment.
PSV hopes to further research connected to the experience of Black families and Black students in private schools by supporting or expanding existing initiatives or creating new opportunities to learn more. PSV launched its first parent climate survey to better understand Black families’ experiences in private schools in 2020. PSV hopes to track progress over time, identify collaborative possibilities in the areas of greatest need, and educate parents and caregivers about the best ways to support their children through the experience.
“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about." – Margaret J. Wheatley