Host an Event
Bring friends and allies together to make positive change
As a parent or public education advocate, you probably already know just how much can be accomplished by talking to the folks in your local community.
And, if you’re the type of person who strikes up conversation wherever you are — maybe chatting casually at the playground, checking in during drop-off, or catching up on the sidelines at a soccer game — you’re exactly who we’re looking for!
Why host an event during Parents Week of Action?
There is great power and potential in personal connection. And, there is strength in numbers.
This school year, in order to have a fighting chance against the right-wing extremists and hate groups who are infiltrating our classrooms, athletic fields, and libraries, we need a show of strength.
Hosting an event during Parents Week of Action is an easy way to foster connections in your school community, raise awareness about the challenges our kids are facing, and discuss strategies for enacting change together.
Just last year, in school systems across the country, students and teachers faced:
- Threats, harassment, and even termination over the simple act of reading inclusive, historically honest books;
- Hateful policies, like Florida’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay or Trans” law, that alienate and endanger the most vulnerable students—and limit teachers’ ability to help;
- And—as we all witnessed at a shocking school board meeting in Glendale, California—direct violence from anti-education hate groups like the Proud Boys and Moms for Liberty.
It can be overwhelming to think about all of this bad news, and it can be easy to feel alone in your disappointment, frustration, and sadness. But, the more often we allow bad actors to go unchecked, the more likely it is that harm will be done to our children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews, sisters and brothers.
The stakes are high. The situation is dire. And if we do nothing it’s only going to get worse.
During Parents Week of Action, bring your network together at an event and help increase the number of people who are committed to being greater than hate in our schools.
How do I plan a Parents Week of Action event?
Think of this event like you would a party or any social gathering: You’ll need a list of potential guests, a method for inviting them and communicating with them in advance, a space large enough to accommodate your group, and a plan or activity to collaborate on when you’re finally together. And, finally, use social media channels before, during, and after your event to encourage engagement and education in the wider community. You can try using Facebook, for example, to reach out to local parents groups, or create a hashtag on X (formerly known as Twitter) to start a communal thread.
Who to invite — and how
Your guest list should include a mix of parents, public school advocates, and community members. The size of the group matters less than the level of interest — three passionate people will drive a more productive discussion than ten indifferent individuals! If you need a place to start, look for local chapters of Free Mom Hugs, Mama Bears, Red, Wine & Blue, and other like-minded groups to help you get the word out.
Once complete, evaluate your guest list and consider:
- Encouraging your guests to bring a “plus one” to open up new connections
- Evaluating attendees to ensure it is representative of a majority of schools in your area
- Sharing hosting duties with someone who is deeply involved or well-connected
Use digital channels — think social media or email — to efficiently invite and manage guest lists.
Find a space to gather
The best events happen in spaces that are easily accessible and can comfortably fit the size of the group. Ideally these are spaces where folks can be heard by one another, without straining, and where there are accommodations including restrooms and/or food and beverage options.
You may prefer to host at your home, or in your backyard, but public spaces such as parks and coffee shops are also good options. Make sure to consider:
- Availability of parking and/or nearby public transit
- Access to restroom facilities
- Accessibility for anyone in a wheelchair or using a walker or other mobility assistance
- The forecast, if you’re hosting an outdoor event, and a backup plan in case of inclement weather
Plan the agenda
The primary objective of your event is to build momentum for action — and one of the best tools in your toolbox is storytelling.
First, prepare to share your own story about why you’re working to protect schools from extremist politicians and hate groups. If you’re not sure what to focus on, walk through your answers to the following questions:
- What motivates you, and why?
- What makes you mad?
- What gives you hope?
- At what moment did you feel called to action?
- What are you going to do next?
- What do we need to do?
You should prompt your guests to share their own stories; they can write them down ahead of time, or just speak from the heart.
This fight is personal, and so it’s okay if your event gets a little personal, too. Let’s remind one another of the reasons we must persevere: the very lives of our loved ones depend on it.
After folks have shared their personal stories and experiences, it will be important to discuss what actions the group can or should take to influence change.
Leverage social media
Social media channels can help connect your group to other like-minded individuals who also want to take action. By engaging with a wider group of allies and advocates, your influence can extend beyond your event and even beyond Parents Week of Action.
As part of your event planning, create a hashtag that feels unique to your community so that people can find and follow your content easily and share it — and the Greater Than Hate social media toolkit — with your guests.