ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The National Parents Union hosted “ROC Parents United” at East High School in Rochester to uplift unified parent power and create educational equity in the area.

Parents from RCSD, charter, private, urban-suburban and homeschools are expected to attend the Saturday event. The Greater Rochester Parent Leadership Training Institute will also be present.

The event is free thanks to support from donors.

Organizers say parent input and expertise is valuable in creating long-term change in the Rochester community. The conference took place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“When parent leaders speak out, their voices should carry the authority of lived experience. Parents understand how gaps in social, health, and educational services limit their children`s future in critical ways. Unfortunately, our public systems are not easily changed, especially when interlaced with racism, bias and inequitable access to resources between those in formal power and parents,” said Deborah Hanmer, PLTI Director. “We are excited to hear from parent leaders from a variety of backgrounds and experiences alongside youth leaders at the April 30 event.”

Organizers say the conference will teach parents and caregivers how to create a powerful constituency. That power is then meant to change systems so long-term change can be achieved to end decades of harmful policies and practices.

“Parents have not interacted in policy reform and systems change efforts as an organized constituency,” organizers say.

The goal of the conference is to build equity into the decision-making process across education systems.