Year-End Review & Looking Ahead:
A Note from the Executive Director

Like most individuals and organizations, we started 2023 energized and goal oriented.  Knowing that a goal without a plan is just a wish, our EPiC team dedicated time and intention towards creating a strategy that would maximize our impact on Black parents and Black students in our community in 2023. 

Poised and ready to accomplish a long list of community actions and events that would cultivate Black parent leadership and celebrate Black student success, our focus in 2023 was as follows: 

Access : Highlight and create opportunities to support student academic success.

Parent Empowerment: Address academic disparities and create systemic change.

Connection: Encourage authentic parent, teacher and student relationships.

Resources: Reallocation of resources led by those most closely impacted by inequity.

Support & Partnership: Strategic, parent-led, organized advocacy.

Through careful, pragmatic execution, our team was able to make an undeniably EPiC impact on the Raleigh-Durham community. I am forever grateful to have realized an internal goal to have a professional, executing team. There are so many pieces to pull together the work we have been able to do this year from our board members to our team to our volunteers and to you and your support. Thank you.

In the Spring 2023, we donated six-hundred dollars to two majority-minority DPS elementary schools to support parent engagement initiatives.  Between Glenn Elementary and Oak Grove Elementary, 1012 students were directly impacted through partnership with EPiC, increasing family engagement in majority minority schools in DPS.

“I enjoyed the opportunity to be around like minds!”

We held the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Community Forum at the Durham County Southwest Regional Library, with guest speaker Dr. Wanda Boone to discuss and give parents a better understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences in Schools. 

Of the eight local families who attended this session, 100% stated they had a better understanding of ACEs after the workshop, and 90% agreed that they would connect with EPiC or a parent as a result of the workshop. 

We held six Circles of Hope, where parents had the opportunity to gain support from other parents facing similar parenting challenges and experiences. The average number of weekly group participants was 6-8 people/group, and 99% of male participants agreed that Circle of Hope helped to reduce stress.  In the single parent’s Circle of Hope, 100% of the participants agreed that they learned skills to better balance family, work and parenting

“Understanding my actions can influence my children’s POV, character, and mental development.” ~Circle of Hope Participant 

We held four listening sessions.  In the listening sessions facilitated in 2023, 100% of participants reported feeling seen, heard, and valued, and felt that they had an opportunity to share their needs, obstacles, or opportunities. When listening to Black parents and their experience with local schools, 50% of participants felt their child was unfairly disciplined in their academic environments.

“I really enjoyed this session. I’m not a parent but I’m a teacher by passion and I’m in complete agreement with the mission.”

We held five community forums.  More than 95% of families shared that they have increased knowledge about systemic educational inequities.

“Looking forward to partnering with EPiC and engaging additional parents from our mentoring group to support our kids in schools.”

Looking ahead to 2024, we are diligently reviewing and updating plans focusing on MORE.  More partnership with local parents, more opportunities for advocacy, more high quality educational opportunities for Black students, and more resources allocated towards Black student success.

Cheers to more opportunities for listening to Black parents in our community and to delivering more programs that support Black parent leadership and student success!

2023 Superlatives

Most Attended Event: Community Convo on Discipline Disparities

Most Popular Blog: Access to Advanced Academics

Most Liked Social Media Post: Event Highlight – Kitchen Table Talk