Local business seeks to bring equity and anti-racism to schools and businesses


In addition to racial equity-based education, PAREL also began dealing in handmade housewares such as their Black fist candle holders, hand-carved by the Makonde people of Tanzania, and handmade fans. Credit: Courtesy of Bertha Obayuwana

Parents Advocating for Racial Equity and Liberation, a Columbus-based initiative, seeks to dismantle racism in schools and workplaces.

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…

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