Dear CECMP family,
I have spoken to quite a few of you over the last few days regarding this act of violence and the subsequent protests that are occurring across the country. Over the years that I have been in this field ( 49 ) I have fought tirelessly for Equity and Justice. We would be remiss not to say something about the disparities that continue to exist in our world, when our field represents the diversity of this nation and humanity . I have seen so many of the ways you support our children, our families and communities of color each and every day. Most of you are a part of the NAEYC- it is our professional organization as early educators. Rather than try to craft a letter to all of you from my own aching heart right now, I am posting the one from NAEYC below as I feel it is poignant and calls us all to be part of the change we want and so desperately need to see :
Director, CA Early Childhood Mentor Program
NAEYC’s core values uphold the dignity and worth of each individual. As we identify in our Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education position statement, our goal is to nurture a more diverse and inclusive generation of young children who thrive through their experience of equitable learning opportunities in early learning programs. We aim for each child to “express comfort and joy with human diversity; to increasingly recognize injustice; and to have the will and the skills to act against prejudice.” We find ourselves pressing for the same for each adult in our nation today.
Our goals cannot be achieved without recognizing and dismantling the systems of bias that provide privilege to some and are unjust to others. That means committing—individually and collectively, again and again—to reflect and grapple with the racism in ourselves, our organizations, and our society. NAEYC continues to work towards advancing equity with humility and awareness of our history and limitations, and a recognition that no individual, leader or organization has all the answers. At the same time, we each have a role to play—as early childhood educators, administrators, faculty, students, advocates, and parents. We are each in a position where we can act and address the trauma our children are experiencing at the hands of racism apparent in the coronavirus’ disproportionate impacts, the police response to protests, the weaponizing of white privilege in our parks and streets, and the death of George Floyd.
On behalf of our entire organization, we commit to standing with you and relentlessly working together to create communities where each and every child, family, and educator can thrive.