Press Release: SF Parent Coalition Recognized…



SAN FRANCISCO, CA — On September 8th, San Francisco Parent Coalition received the President’s Award for 2022 by the National Parents Union (NPU), in recognition of its leadership and service to children and families in its community. At a ceremony in Bailey, CO, approximately 35 miles southwest of Denver, San Francisco Parent Coalition co-founder, Yvette Byes Edwards, was present to accept the award on behalf of the organization. “It was inspiring to be in the room with people who have been doing this work for much longer than we have,” Edwards said. In attendance were parent activists and advocacy groups from across the country, representing all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and D.C., and famed civil rights activist Ruby Bridges gave the keynote address.

Formed in 2020 during the education crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco Parent Coalition (formerly Decreasing The Distance), organized thousands of San Francisco Unified School District Families in support of the safe reopening of schools, and has worked to inform and empower parents while advocating for student-centered policies in the San Francisco Unified School District.  

“Like many of us, these reluctant warriors didn’t start out with the idea that they would create such a powerful organization,” said NPU co-founder and president Keri Rodrigues about San Francisco Parent Coalition. “That passion and audacity has launched a movement of parents and families who are champions for their children and are changing the face of education in their city through their fight for transparency, accountability and not just more, but better resources for our schools. We are inspired by their courage, commitment and leadership to this work and are proud to recognize them with the National Parents Union President’s Award for 2022.”

The National Parents Union, founded just before the start of the COVID pandemic, is a network of parent organizations and grassroots activists working to support parents, especially low-income parents and parents of color. Earlier this year, the US Department of Education invited the NPU to join its National Parents and Families Engagement Council. About receiving the award, San Francisco Parent Coalition’s executive director and co-founder, Meredith Dodson, said, “This honor is for all the parents out there who joined in this effort and stood up for San Francisco’s children when our school leaders would not. It’s emotional after everything parents have been through, and all the attacks we’ve received for speaking up–you know San Francisco’s advocacy scene isn’t for the faint of heart. This award helps parents feel seen, acknowledged, appreciated, and validated for doing this hard but important work.”

SF Parent Coalition receives President's Award from National Parents Union