Anna Parlato, Read to Succeed Buffalo’s AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer In Service to America), recently had the opportunity to attend the annual AmeriCorps VISTA conference in Dallas, Texas.

Joined by nearly 200 VISTA colleagues from across the country, Anna was exposed to several training sessions, the highlight of which was a session on conscious and subconscious bias and their impact on achieving equity for all.

The leader of this workshop, Ryan Fewins-Bliss, stated, “The system is not broken. The system is working; It was designed this way”.

Ms. Parlato brought this learning back to her role here at Read to Succeed Buffalo and hopes that her work supporting our Experience Corps program will help mitigate some of the systemic barriers impacting grade-level reading proficiency in Buffalo.

She shared, “We, as individuals, may do our best to eradicate systemic disadvantage, but without the collective aspiration to promote equity, it is difficult to be heard.  Having an opportunity to meet and collaborate with 200 of my fellow volunteers was an honor and taught me many valuable lessons – especially how important it is to keep an open mind.”