Wake County PTA Council holding “Diversity and Equity Inclusion Conference”

What do your Parent Teacher Association (PTA) dollars pay for in Wake County? According to an email from the Wake County PTA Council announcing a “Diversity and Equity Inclusion Conference”, those dollars may be funding sessions such as “Male engagement,” “Transgender 101,” and becoming an “LGBTQ+ Youth Ally.”

The full list of sessions in the email are:

  • Transgender 101
  • Male Engagement
  • Transgender 102
  • Apex MS PTA: Journey to Equity
  • How to engage Latinx Families
  • Lunch and Learn session:  How to engage diverse families panel discussion (Arabic, Indian, Chinese, Korean)
  • Becoming an LGBTQ+ Youth Ally
  • How to engage African American families
  • Engaging Students with Special Needs and their Families in PTA events
  • How to embrace diversity equity and inclusion through cultural competencies

“This Virtual Conference will take place on Saturday, March 20, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. We will offer a variety of 45 minutes workshops during the day, with a special lunch and learn session taking place from 11:45 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Please register as soon as possible, the deadline is March 14, 2021,” the Google sign up form reads.

The event is likely the result of work by the Wake County PTA Council’s “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.”

DEI CMTE

Headlining the conference as the keynote speaker is a man named Derrick W. Byrd.

The Wake PTA Council website describes him as “a child and family advocate for 42 years” who has Mr. “served in various leadership positions in many local, state and national non-profit organizations and governmental agencies.”

The Wake PTA Council doesn’t mention he is a past president of their organization, as stated on his personal website.

BYRD KEYNOTE WAKE PTA

Byrd describes himself in his LinkedIn profile as an “African-American Social Change Leader.” The “about” section of that profile states that he is an “Experienced Co-Founder with a demonstrated history of working in the Nonprofit Organization Management industry. Skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Government, Facilitation, Fundraising, and Management. Strong business development professional with a Masters focused in Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice.”

The most recent experience (June 2019 to present) listed in his LinkedIn profile include Executive Director of the Family Resource Center South Atlantic and Founding Member of the Family Resource Center of Raleigh, NC.  Byrd was previously co-chair of Raleigh Organizing Against Racism (ROAR) and a past chairperson of the National PTA Health and Safety Committee.  Byrd is still running trainings for ROAR, as evidenced by a March 2021 virtual event posting.

ROAR is an affiliate of Organizing Against Racism (OAR), which bills itself as a “network of anti-racism groups based in or around the Triangle, North Carolina that host trainings and events to advance racial equity.” OAR often partners with the Racial Equity Institute (REI).

Byrd has been a consistent advocate for strengthening fatherhood, but also a consistent trainer in the areas of “racial equity” and “anti-racism” for years.

Heading into the 2016 election, Byrd believed Trump would restore and protect “white privilege,” whereas Hillary Clinton would maintain it.

As George Floyd riots that swept across the country, Durham chapter of OAR joined other groups including Durham Clergy United, Durham Branch of the NAACP, Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People in June of 2020 describing a fight against the “age old virus of racism.” Speakers repeated the need to continue “fighting “systemic racism,” and calling for an investigation into race-based discrimination in Durham County government.

Small Minority Drives Leftist Ideology

A small membership is dictating leftist ideology, social justice and critical race theory topics to millions of parents in North Carolina, and to the tens hundreds of thousands of parents in Wake County.

According to its website “The Wake County PTA Council empowers and encourages its members by modeling best practices of a PTA and by collaborating with others. As trustworthy advocates, our impact is evident through our members’ effectiveness in ensuring that all Wake County families are engaged in every child’s success.”

The Wake County PTA Council is one of several that are set up through the statewide North Carolina PTA, who defines a council as “an organized group of three or more local PTA units affiliated with NCPTA for the purpose of promoting conferences, communications, leadership development, and coordination of the efforts of such local PTA units. The PTA council’s main purpose is to promote the welfare of children and youth.”

The NC PTA’s official name is the PTA North Carolina Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc. and it’s tax ID number (EIN) is 56-0340503. The organization is registered as a 501(c)3. Tax records for the group reveals membership of just 112,211 for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The 2018 tax filings for the NC PTA show the group sitting on assets of just under half a million dollars, coming in at $498,752. Gross revenue reported was $737,879 and expenses listed totaled $631,085. That filing shows only one paid employee, Executive Director Catherine Peglow, who was paid $118,450 in combined internal and external compensation. The salaries listed in the tax filing lists expenditures of $247,784.

The organization only paid out $12,500 in grants, but spent over  $137,000 on conferences. It also spent more than $20,000 on lobbying and has spent hundreds of thousands on lobbying since 2015.

The Wake County PTA Council is housed in the same building at Wake County Public Schools, located at Cary Crossroads II, 110 Corning Drive, Cary, NC 27518.

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a freelance journalist and is currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_
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