Latino Parents Shifting Black-White Paradigm in Memphis-Area Schools

Mar. 8, 2013 / By



MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Hispanic parents in this city care about the education of their children just as much as any other ethnic group, declared one Hispanic mother, Marta Lopez, during a recent town hall discussion on education.

Lopez, who works at a local school, said there is a false stereotype that Hispanic parents in Memphis aren’t engaged in their children’s schooling. There are some parents who may be reluctant to involve themselves in school life because of language barriers, she said, but that is changing.

“In the last couple years, I’ve seen a lot more Hispanic parents stepping up and playing more of a role in their children’s education,” said Lopez. “We’re not just sitting back in the corner waiting on someone to do something for our families, for our kids. We are actually stepping forward.”

Lopez was among a number of concerned parents who participated in a recent town hall meeting on education, co-sponsored by New America Media and Latino Memphis, a nonprofit agency that advocates for the Hispanic community in the greater Memphis area. The parents expressed a number of concerns about their children’s education to an audience of local teacher’s groups, PTA organizations, education advocates and local media.

The parents came looking for answers and assistance in navigating a school system that is currently very much in flux.

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New America Media

New America Media is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 3,000 ethnic news organizations. Over 57 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media outlets, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C., and partnerships with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media.