Founded last year by Bertha Obayuwana, PAREL aims to help people identify and combat racism, discrimination and microagressions. Obayuwana said the organization empowers participants to be agents of change by offering courses and facilitated programs tackling difficult-to-talk-about topics in an open and palatable way.
“When we’re talking about racism, it’s not a pretty topic,” Obayuwana said. “There’s no getting away from that. We have to be honest and we have to be willing to hear the truth.”
PAREL began as Racial Equity Parent Advocates, a smaller initiative introduced into a local elementary school around 2019, Obayuwana said. Obayuwana and her husband noticed a disparity in the access to certain resources, prompting the effort.