Over 50 parents in the CNMI were recognized as “parent leaders of 2021” at the proclamation signing of the 17th CNMI Parent Leadership Month at the Kagman Community Center last Friday, Feb. 12.
The proclamation, which was read by parent leader Suzie Torres and signed by Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, also marked the 52nd anniversary of Parents Anonymous Inc., the premier family strengthening outlet that’s dedicated to the prevention of child abuse and neglect.
According to the proclamation, meaningful parent leadership occurs “when parents gain the knowledge and skills necessary to function in meaningful leadership roles and present a “Parent Voice” to help shape the direction families, programs and communities take; and that parent leadership is successfully achieved when parents receive the support and training in addition to shared responsibility, expertise and leadership in the planning, implementation, assessment and evaluation of policies, practices, and programs affecting families and communities.
“It takes all of us as a village to raise a child,” said parent leader John Oliver DLR Gonzales, who spoke at the event. He recounted his experiences while growing up that “the neighbors were culturally authorized to discipline us. Houses were open, we were able to eat in their homes, they were able to eat at ours. That is what parenting is all about.”
Gonzales said he appreciates it when community members—not just relatives—help discipline children “so that they can be responsible, ethical, and moral.”
Shortly after the signing of the proclamation, parent leader Julie Camacho led all other parent leader nominees in reciting the “Parent’s Pledge.” (Neil Fama)