By Mike Kinney
A new center that aims to support and advocate for Black parents and caregivers celebrated a grand opening in Richmond on Tuesday.
Richmond City Councilmember Demnlus Johnson III served as the keynote speaker in welcoming The Black Parents Resource Center (TBPRC) to the community. The center is based out of the Bay Area Girls Club at 260 Broadway.
TBPRC is a grassroots community organization co-founded by Zelon Harrison and Juanita Towns that serves to provide resources and a voice for Black parents and caregivers, particularly those with children who attend schools in the West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD). The center’s resources involve education, economic empowerment, housing, health and social conditions, and political advocacy, Towns said.
Workshops for new parents, not just on tips of raising children but also in leadership and college and career readiness, are among the resources offered. The center also offers courses on child pregnancy for young adults about to have a child together. TBPRC additionally exists to advocate for Black parents at community events or school board meetings, where Towns says many Black parents don’t feel welcomed or heard.
“TBPRC is here to advocate for getting our Black parents back into the community loop,” Towns said, noting their input is “critical and is needing to be heard.”
“It is important for Black parents to have their own space where they learn to have the confidence to be their own advocates and leaders, in order to meet the challenges of today’s modern society,” Towns said. “At TBPRC, we are all family and we are here to empower our family to boldly meet these challenges of the present and move into the future, knowing that through mentoring and advocacy they will be successful in their endeavors.”