Our hearts and minds are heavy with the death of George Floyd, as well as the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and so many other unjustified murders. We protest the persistent institutionalized racism, and systemic inequities that this tragic loss reveals, once again.
We stand alongside the protesters, and we know this isn’t enough. It’s time for all of us to turn this commitment into more focused, intentional action such as, convening communities of practice and teach-ins.
In PEACH, an early childhood higher education collaborative, we work in systems of relationships, systems that are effective to the extent that they are equitable. The competencies, processes, and communication strategies that we continue to develop are informed by our commitment to diverse perspectives. In early childhood, we focus on the “whole child”, the “whole family” and the “whole community”. It’s time to double our efforts, intentionally centering on social justice and anti-racist policies and practices in order to reimagine our system.
We commit to actively work for a more equitable society, aware of the constant need to use an equity lens to review and revise our teaching practices, campus, community and larger systems’ practices. This is the imperative that will then strengthen the professional preparation of ECE students to commit to equitable ways to work with children, families and communities.
We commit to:
(1) creating a space for our students to explore the impact of institutionalized racism on child development and early education;
(2) educating our students to challenge inequitable policies and practices in the workplace and in society; and
(3) empowering our students with the knowledge and skills needed to advocate for complete and equitable access to high-quality early care, education, and related resources for all children and families.
As an early childhood higher education collaborative, we stand firm and promise to use our knowledge, skills and voices to build anti-racist institutions, in the memory of so many lives lost.