Parenting Journey Names Imari Paris Jeffries as Exec. Director

Imari Paris Jeffries
November 5, 2017 — Parenting Journey, a national nonprofit based in Somerville that provides programs aimed at strengthening families and creating safe communities, recently announced the appointment of Imari K. Paris Jeffries as executive director.

Paris Jeffries succeeds Maury Peterson, who served in the position for nearly three years until she relocated out-of-state with her family.

Anne Peretz, founder and board member of Parenting Journey, said, “We are thrilled to have Imari lead and advocate for Parenting Journey. His experience as a leader, community activist, and innovator will have an incredible impact on our organization and its efforts to promote policies, regulations, and community initiatives that support strong family growth and development.”

Prior to joining Parenting Journey, Paris Jeffries was CEO of Italian Home, a behavioral health organization in Boston. He served as the COO of Jumpstart, a national early education organization, for a year in their Greater Boston location; CEO of Boston Rising, an anti-poverty initiative, for over two years; and spent five years as the executive director of Friends of the Children-Boston, a mentoring organization for children of high-risk communities.

An active member of the community, Paris Jeffries serves as a trustee of The University of Massachusetts system and on the board of directors for the Appalachian Mountain Club. He also recently was appointed by Gov. Charlie Baker to serve on the Black Advisory Commission.

Paris Jeffries previously served on the boards of the Massachusetts Mentoring Partnership, Save the Harbor, Save the Bay, Third Sector New England, the Elizabeth Peabody House, and the African American Federation of Greater Boston.

“Parenting Journey’s mission to build strong families aligns with my own personal values,” said Paris Jeffries. “We’re working hard to change the narrative around what makes a good parent. Parenting is universal and we strive to create a loving community that provides compassion and respect for all parents.”

He earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees from the University of Massachusetts, in history/Africana studies, American studies and education, and currently is pursuing a PhD through the Higher Education Administration Program.

Parenting Journey, formerly known as The Family Center, was founded in 1982, operating out of a van that could be driven directly to local housing developments, and moved to Somerville the following year. In 2002, the organization moved to its headquarters in Somerville’s Union Square neighborhood.

Since 2007, Parenting Journey has served more than 52,000 parents, and today has an office in New York City. Its programs have been replicated in nearly 500 locations across the United States.