Engaging in Conversations About Racial and Ethnic Equity
Brandi Black Thacker: Hello everyone, and welcome. We're so grateful to be with you today. And of course, we're not officially starting quite yet because we do that at the top of the hour, but we'd love for you to come in and get settled and connect with us. You will see on your screen right now what we call a “Lobby Icebreaker,” and what we'd like to do to get started today is think together about the question that you see before you. What has helped you to be engaged when you have had conversations about racial and ethnic equity in the past? What kinds of things were present for you? What do you remember seeing or hearing? What was the feeling that helped you to stay engaged in these kinds of conversations? You are welcome to talk to us. Off to the left-hand side of your screen, toward the bottom, there's a place that's going to say “Q&A,” and you can talk to us there. We'd love to hear a few of your ideas, what you've experienced in these conversations in the past, and we'll bring a few of those forward for the greater good as we get ready to start at the top of the hour. It's good to see so many familiar names and faces on the line today. Welcome, everybody. We're so grateful you are here, and we're always grateful that you choose to spend time with us in these conversations. And we're kicking off a brand-new series today. So, as you come on into the virtual space and get comfortable, we'll tell you a little bit more about that, but while you do that, we would love for you to tell us a little bit about these conversations that you've had in the past. What have you discovered that helped keep you engaged when you've had conversations about racial and ethnic equity in the past? Tell us in the Q&A function, and we'll raise some of those up to share with everybody.
So, a few things that I see so far 'cause I asked things about your senses, like the sensorial experience – what did you see? What did you feel? What were you hearing? – and you're telling me things like, you know, "When I felt engaged, there was asking questions, there was listening. There was honesty and openness." I love this one, Sarah, as she says, "Being honest and open, non-judgmental attitude, being patient." I see words like “compassion.” Let me do a little more scrolling here 'cause you guys are really prolific in your sharing today, which is awesome 'cause that's exactly what we want. I hear a lot of and see a lot of trends and patterns around being able to ask questions and listen. This reciprocity of, you know … Really, what I visualize is that, you know, that delicate dance of holding each other in the conversations in a way that offers this gracefulness where we just accept each other exactly where we are, and we walk forward together in those spaces. Jamie, you read my mind. Jamie from Tri-County Head Start says that we both have respect for each other. Michelle, I love this. She says, "I don't need help engaging, I need help unengaging." I love that spirit. May we all stand in that space, Michelle. Let's see what else we have coming in. A few of you are saying, "I haven't yet stood in the space to have this conversation." So, that's wonderful and real, and I'm very glad that you shared, because one of the things that we're going to open up today is really honoring where all of us are on this journey because we all are going to find ourselves in a different space based on our own life experiences and based on our own, you know, journey, so, we're going to unpack that, and that's such an important part of what we get into here in a little bit, even around awareness. So, that's the perfect thing to share. We appreciate that. Also, oh, gosh, this is really a perfect point: "Acknowledge that not everything can be resolved in one conversation. Be ready to sit with discomfort." Well, it's almost like you have our slides, which you do, and I'll tell you where to find those here in just a little bit. Those things are incredibly important. These are longitudinal conversations that we commit to over time. We weave them into every layer, every fiber, every place that we can because it's critical that these are lifted up on behalf of who we are, who we have the honor to serve, and each other – doing that in a meaningful way. You know, I get carried away with this. I just have to give you one more from Codiann, she says, "Empathy. Understanding that even though I might not have some of these life experiences ..." Her words exactly are, "Even though it hasn't happened to me, these issues are real for others. So, really staying in a space of empathic expression and being able to make connections in a way that hold each of us as individuals." So, I love this community so much. I've said this on several webinars now, so, if you guys have joined in a few of these, this will be just confirmation. I have never been so proud to be part of our Head Start communities. I just can't say to you guys what an honor it's been to listen, to learn from each of you, and that's exactly the sentiment that we're setting up with and for each other today. So, now, that we're at the top of the hour, I have the real pleasure of welcoming you to this first of four conversations, and the one that we're going to be thinking and talking about today is “Engaging in Conversations about Racial and Ethnic Equity.” Now, you'll notice that we are going to get to spend a good amount of time together – even though it feels like a good amount of time, it sure does go fast – but we're going to share about 90 minutes in content, and one of the favorite parts that we have – I hope it's yours too – is that we hang out after the webinar for at least 15 minutes with the speakers to ask questions, to expand our knowledge, to think together if there's anything else that you'd like to, you know, share with each other. We create that space, and it's certainly something that we look forward to every time we get to be with you guys. So, just make a note of that. So, if you can hang out a little bit after the 90 minutes, we sure do love that, and we've heard from you that you do as well.
So, also, want to give you a little sneak peek. If you haven't registered for all of the upcoming conversations, I want to give you the opportunity to take a peek at these now. You'll see what's coming up. We have our colleagues from Program Management and Fiscal Operations, or PMFO for short, who are going to be talking to us on August 20. And you see here, “Culture, Diversity, Inclusiveness, and Equity” with a specific spotlight on human resource systems. In September, we're going to have our friends from Development, Teaching, and Learning come and speak to us about anti-bias teaching and learning environments in Head Start and Early Head Start. That's going to be on the 10th of September. And then, rounding out this whole series will be our friends at the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness, and they're going to bring forward some discussion on health disparities and how to respond with a lens on race and ethnicity. That'll be on September 17. We'll give you some more details about these at the end of our time together. So, stay tuned for that. If you want to, of course, mark your calendars and go sign up on the ECLKC.
Oh, I feel like we need a drum roll moment. I have one of the biggest honors today, and I have to tell you guys, I'm so excited to be able to share with you Dr. Bergeron has been able to join us today, and we're going to kick off our time together with her. She's going to officially kick us off in this four-part webinar series. And as you guys know, she's the Director of the Office of Head Start, and many of you affectionately know her as Dr. B. And we cannot properly express the true depth of the gratitude that we have for her and the whole Office of Head Start for this opportunity. Not only for this conversation, but this whole series, and to be able to have this on a national scale is just ... It's, you know, it's moving to me. So, Dr. Bergeron, we're so grateful you're here. Thank you so much for spending your time with us this afternoon, and please take it away.
Dr. Deborah Bergeron: Thank you, Brandi. I'm so excited to be here. I'm going to do a short welcome and then sit back and really embrace what we've got going on here. I have to really shout out to Sharon and the entire team. I'm not sure I've ever seen such a responsive group of people. Whether it's me coming in and, you know, talking about K-12, and we make big shifts into different directions or just the happenings of the last few months and feeling the need to address a topic here and now and saying, "Hey, we've got to drop everything and make this happen." It's just incredible to see such responsiveness, and I think it speaks to the beauty of Head Start. We are a large organization, but we can be very nimble, and I just love that about the work that we do. So, thank you for including me. I'm thrilled to be here, and I was reading some of the comments. I love the word trust. Of course, I talk about trust a lot and empathy and listening. And I was reading Chevy Jenkins' comment, "Finding commonality in our lives," and it made me think about … I was reading about former governor Nikki Haley the other day, and she was talking about growing up. She's Indian, she grew up in South Carolina with her parents, she was the only Indian family, she said, "Kids wondered why my parents dress funny." She felt out of place in school, and she came home and told her mom, "I'm so different. I don't belong here." And her mom looked at her and said, "Go to school and figure out what you have in common. Don't focus on what you don't have in common." And I thought that was such an interesting thing that she remembered from her childhood that helped her embrace differences and yet look for the commonality, and in that commonality, you find this humanity that we can all relate to. So, I think that just speaks volumes to the opportunity that we have in front of us.
So, you know, I'm going to talk about Head Start a little bit, and I just want to say at the outset, when I say the phrase “Head Start,” let's just imagine I'm saying, “Head Start/Early Head Start.” That's a mouthful, but I want you to know that as I talk about Head Start, Early Head Start is a very big piece of all of this that we're talking about today. And we know we can think back to 1964 when President Johnson launched his War on Poverty, and it was just a little short year after that – that Head Start became part of that effort. And I always like to point out when I talk about this because I just think it's an incredible ... I don't know if it's a coincidence, if you believe in coincidences or fate or whatever, but I am a graduate at Texas State University, which at the time was Southwest Texas State, and that is LBJ's alma mater. And I was always so proud to go to a college where a president graduated, and at the time, it was a normal school for teachers and educators. And here I am, you know, just right in the middle of all of this and so proud to be part of it. So, there was a big attention at this time on disenfranchised folk in our country. People who didn't have equal access, who predominantly are poor, who were left out of that American dream, and I say all the time that I think Head Start is access to the American dream. And we're so lucky now we have Head Start graduates who work for our programs, who hold higher degrees, and have laid the foundation for other children to come through and get that same opportunity. And, you know, Head Start was initially housed in the Office of Economic Opportunity, so that says a lot about what they were thinking about when they were putting Head Start together, which was just a little summer program to prepare for kindergarten, but the idea was far more about economic opportunity, and through economic opportunity and stability, you find children who are ready and eager to learn. One of the ways that Head Start really set itself apart was through comprehensive services, of course. Children had access to medical and dental and nutrition, and parents had access to comprehensive services to help them achieve their own goals and by creating stable families and parents who had a confidence about themselves, we were laying the foundation for parenting and families that would live far beyond the few years a kiddo might spend in Head Start. And Head Start has, of course, always embraced families of all races and ethnicities. In places where segregation was the norm in '65, Head Start had a fully integrated classroom, diverse staff. In fact, I encourage you to Google the video. There are several, but the one that I love is called “Jenny is a Good Thing,” and it is from the late '60s, and if you watch that video, just look at the teachers, look at the children, you will see crosscutting folks from all over, represented right there in a video that's 50 plus years old. We've always encouraged parents to come on board. And, you know, I tell lots of stories about parents I've met who will tell me their story – their Head Start story – about getting started as a parent who was afraid, lacked confidence, never thought they'd graduate from high school, and here they are standing, talking to me with a master's degree and have a title of executive director or something like that, and the idea of empowering parents to believe in themselves is exactly what grows healthy children. Children look to their parents for the example that they want to be. That's where they learn how the world works. So, when we can create parents who are healthy and thriving, kids follow suit.
And, you know, another way that Head Start promotes equity, I like to refer to officially, as the secret sauce, that's not a federal word, that's just mine. But parent engagement, of course, is really at the center of all of this. And for me, the reason I think I see this as such an important quality is it contrasts quite starkly with my experience in public education. And I've said this before, and in no way is a critical statement necessarily, but just that I felt like my job focused so much on children as a K-12 leader, that I forgot that the family was actually part of that, and instead of embracing the family and bringing them in, it was more of a "How can we give this child a chance at success in spite of their situation at home." And I love the fact that Head Start doesn't say “in spite of.” Head Start says “because of,” and they bring the family into the fold; their voices are heard, advocates are born, and parents learn to speak and communicate clearly for their children. And I know, as an experienced K-12 person, that that comes in handy the entire career that their child spends in the public-school system. Parents are the best advocates for their kiddos. And of course, we have the revised performance standards that demonstrate our commitment to supporting the benefits of bilingualism, long-lasting multi-cultural principles that have stood the test of time. In the previous round of the TTA system, you know, we funded the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness, and the center developed outstanding resources for tribal programs and for programs serving children who are dual language learners, and of course, this lives long beyond that. And, you know, it produced an important training resource, which focused on supporting school readiness and the success of young African American boys. The resource address issues of stereotyping and implicit bias.
And then, of course, from 2015 on, the center's mission has been integrated into all the work of the centers and into the Head Start performance standards and other regulations. And the centers that carried forward this important work, and I'm thrilled, that they are each playing a role in this miniseries. So, we're going to get to touch on each of those as we go through this process together. Starting today with the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement. And, you know, a basic Head Start principle is that all individuals have assets and talents, and Head Start builds on them. It's a positive view that is at the heart of equity, no matter race, ethnicity, gender of enrolled children and families, and this relates to Head Start staff too. Equity is not just embedded in Head Start practices, it's at the core of the Head Start principles and its philosophy. So, we have a lot of work to do as individuals and as a country to advance racial and ethnic equity. But it is important to be having this national conversation at this time, and I can't think of a better platform than the Head Start platform on which to have this conversation. I feel like we have the perspective, the sensitivity, the empathy, baked into what we do, to have a conversation that's honest and open and productive. And so, I am very much looking forward. I said to Brandi when I jumped on earlier, I'm going to lurk in the background here. I'm so excited to listen to everything we have for today, and I'm very excited you've taken time today to join. I think it's extremely important, and it says a great deal about your commitment. Thank you so very much. I think I'm handing it back to Brandi from here.
Brandi: Yes. Thank you so much, Dr. Bergeron. I really am touched by so many of the words that you gave us today and just walking with you down our historical pathway. And we're nudged towards the importance of having this conversation right now today and how these principles and philosophies are just a part of who we are. It does bring emotion to my voice. So, for those of you that know me, you know that that's always right close to the service, but it means a lot, and we're so grateful you're here and ever thankful for your leadership and your whole team. Well, I have to say to you guys, speaking of team, I want you to meet a couple other of my most favorite folks in the whole wide world, they're both going to say hello to you of their own accord as we get started into the content. Dr. Charlyn Harper Browne and Dr. Guylaine Richard, before you say hello, I wanted to just acknowledge quickly from the chat, many of you are curious about Dr. Bergeron video that she mentioned, and I wanted to repeat it again for you 'cause so many of you offered that question in the chat. The name of the video is called “Jenny Is a Good Thing.” “Jenny,” and that's with a Y, “is a Good Thing.” So, if you're interested in finding that as – per Dr. Bergeron's recommendation, you can Google it, and hopefully, that's helpful to hear it repeated. All right, with that, Dr. Charlyn Harper Browne, how are you today?
Dr. Charlyn Harper Browne: I'm just great. I'm extremely honored and delighted to be a part of this webinar. So, thank you, Dr. Bergeron, for making this idea come to life, and we're ready.
Brandi: Thank you, Charlyn. How about you, Dr. Richard, how are you today?
Dr. Guylaine L. Richard: Good afternoon, everyone. You know, this is Dr. Guylaine Richard, and a lot of you in the field knows me as Dr. G, and it's OK. I am so humbled and honored to be with all of you this afternoon and having this conversation. And I thank you for having us, and Dr. Bergeron, you set the tone, so we will follow. Thank you for your leadership and thank you for everyone in the Office of Head Start who have given us this opportunity.
Brandi: Yeah, thank you, Dr. Harper Browne and Dr. Richard. This is Brandi Black Thacker, and I'm the Director of the TTA at the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement, where I have the true pleasure to be a colleague and a friend of both of the women you see on the slide with me. And today, we hope to take you on a bit of a journey through not only some foundational information – we want to offer some strategies, some resources, some confirmations, some challenges, and we know you're up for it. So, we're grateful that you're here with us today. And as we jump in together, we want to make sure that you know where to find all of the things that you might be looking for. So, if you'll join me in looking off to the left-hand side of your screen down towards the bottom, there's a place that says, “Ask a Question.” And thankfully, many of you have already found that. You can talk to us in that space the whole time. You don't just have to offer a question. You can offer a comment, you can say hello, and many of you have, and you can offer your insights, and we'll bring those out as we go along. You'll also find there some “Event Resources,” and we have three of those for you today, and knowing who we are in Head Start, the first question most folks have is, "Do I get the PowerPoint?" And we're happy to report, via a fist pound exclamation point moment, yes, it is over there for you in that “Event Resources” pod, and you can download that. As well as a handout, a couple of handouts, actually, that I'll reference as we go forward in our discussion. And today for you, we have a few learning objectives that we would like to touch, and we want to take Dr. Bergeron's inspiration and where she took us through our historical journey and build on that, and how equity is important to us, not only in our past and where we've grown from, but certainly in current day. We want to unpack key concepts related to race and ethnic equity, and we want to think about how they apply to us in Head Start. We also want to bring forward some specific insights and actions that can help you apply this equity lens not only in your program but through the context of your role. And then, certainly, as promised, we have a few tools and resources for you to consider. And so many of you have offered some along the way as well that have really been beneficial to you as you're bringing forward these conversations in your own areas, programs, and in your personal relationships. As we go forward, I just want to ground us here in some key messages, sort of beginning with the end in mind. And Dr. Bergeron, you know, took us here straightaway. Advancing equity is directly tied to our historical mission and to the purpose of who we are and how we operate in Head Start. And you're going to hear Dr. Richard take us, as well as Dr. Harper Browne, through some steps of ... We'll see a little later some things that we referenced as the five A's, and one of those first ones is awareness.
So, the second bullet, “Raising awareness” certainly is an important first step and doing better for all of the children and families that we serve. And then I want to plant this seed with you guys early on because I know who we are, and we are an actionable community. So, I want you to be thinking straightaway. As we come through the content, we want you to be wondering with us, “What is the action that you're going to do when you leave us?” And you're going to see that you could apply that action through many layers and levels – as a person, in your relationships, in your program, in your communities – we want you to be thinking what actionable steps that you might take, and you'll see a few extensions of that here. So, that equity isn't just a buzzword, so … That we make sure it's an implicit part, a thoughtful and intentional part of providing children and families with the experiences and opportunities that enable them to thrive, and that we work together to address racism in all of the levels of early childhood education.
With that, we also – as we go into this conversation together today – are not only going to show you a few things that we've used along the way in our journey, our standard at the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement, we've been really engaged in this work now for almost five years with a full focus. And we've learned a lot in that journey with many different audiences who come from many different roles. And one of the things that we always began, and I actually heard this a little bit in the chat. Many of you said things like, "Well, we get real with each other. We create a space where we all feel welcomed, where we don't feel judged, where we just hold an openness based on where we are so that each of us have the chance to teach and each one of us have a chance to learn." And one of the ways that we often offer that is to begin with a slide like you see before you and you see our framework there. We're really leaning into this arrow that you see at the top, and Dr. Richard is going to talk us through that here in just a second. But you'll see a few things that you've already brought up in the chat and a couple of those I mentioned. Things like “speak your truth” or “expect to experience discomfort.” “Accept and expect non-closure,” because we hope that this is a beginning place. We hope that this is a conversation that takes place over time in all of the ways that it can. And one of the biggest lessons that we've learned is to start with something like this as sort of an inspiration for group agreements., and in whatever group that you're with, build it out; check-in with each other to see what's important to you, and it's one of the many ways that brings you together to really be able to have a conversation that honors who you are as individuals and the space that you're trying to create with each other in service of these conversations. So, goodness, Dr. Richard, with all of that, I know we have a few other things that we'd like to offer to get folks grounded in this foundation. Let me turn it over to you so that you can talk us through those.
Dr. Richard: Thank you, Brandi. Thank you so much. And actually, what we want to really go to is grounding the conversation that we going to have this afternoon, we are having is, “Why does equity matter in early childhood?” And before we do that, we're going to go ahead and Dr. Bergeron gave us a good feel of how, you know, the difference that we're already making in children's life and family's life. But, you know, I will take this opportunity to go ahead and define a term that we have been talking about, what is equity? And simply, you know, put, we will go ahead and look at equity as what it is: fairness. Equity is not equality, it's not the same, but it is fairness. Fairness in what we do, fairness in what we say, fairness in all the things that we are able to make sure that people feel that they are in a place where they can grow. So, what I want to really take a little time then now is to ... Because when we want change, we want families to grow, we want children to grow, we want change. And whenever you want change, you need to look for a pathway. So, we are humbly offering our – the PFCE, the OHSPFC framework, as the theory of change that it is. When we talk about the theory of change, it's something that is allowing you, and I'm going to do that so we can be very brief and you can remember that equation, and we can remember those words. “If I want that, then this.” “If this, then that.” So, if I do that as a program, then I am guaranteed, I'm almost assured of the result that I will get. So, the PFCE's framework is really the pathway for engagement, the pathway of the thing that we need to do when we have fairness in mind, in order as a program, as staff working that program to ensure that we get those outcome without the results for families and the results for children. So, as a program, you know, we need to establish those program foundations, which are strong system, and we need to couple that with the quality services, and I'm encouraging you to look at this. When I'm talking about quality services, I'm talking about the program impact areas where we all can work and have, you know, in order as a program to support the children and the families and get growth for them. But, you know, the thing that really keep us together is that arrow. That arrow is all of us have to do that. It's not only you doing it with the family. It's staff doing it to staff. Staff doing it community partners. Everyone engaged in this hour where what you are really intentional doing is building positive goal-oriented relationships with everyone coming, you know, around you. But, you know, if you have in mind, the way you do that is by keeping those principles that are very key to get people to grow as a whole is equity, inclusiveness, cultural and linguistic responsiveness. So, that's the story. The story of the framework, that story of engagement is really the story of Head Start that all of us have already been, you know, putting into action. So, when we look at that – when we look at this, I want to say there is one of those systems that is professional development.
So, if you allow me, I'm going to go there, and we look at the role of professionals in advancing equity. As professionals, you know, we engage in experiences that support more effective service delivery with diverse families and children. We are promoting diversity, we are promoting equity, the belonging, and inclusion through everything in the program: program leadership, staffing, curriculum development, the learning environment, and the practices we are, you know, demonstrating. We understand, we appreciate, and we're leveraging the differences among the children and their families. But as professionals, we also to advance equity; we encourage and honor the family wisdom and voice. You know, when we are seeing that parents are the most important teachers, families are most important teachers, we are leaving it, we are giving them, we are under honoring that wisdom and their voice. We ensure that children and families get the support they need. We advocate, you see, all those really actionable verbs as we implement in policies, practices, and opportunities that promote equity. We engage in self-reflection about one's own belief that have shaped one's perception and treatment of other racial and ethnic groups. And the thing that I love really, we commit to be anti-biased in advancing equity. But, you know, as professionals, we also remember family engagement is honoring that partner with our families. Those families, they also have a role in advancing equity. How do they do that? They can build strong network among diverse families and communities where they are. They are increasing their knowledge about the rights of children and the families, navigating system, and control of resources. Engage in conversation with staff about race, ethnicity, racism, and justice. They call out stereotype, bias, and discrimination in learning materials, interaction that we have being with them, educational practices, and offering anti-racist resources. And, you know, but they also can support by monitoring their child's educational experiences to ensure they help to promote a healthy racial identity and an appreciation and respect for others. They learn more about how to help their child navigate the complexity of race. Identifying and correcting one's own racially biased thoughts, feelings, and actions. And I like that word, again, modeling anti-biased thoughts, feelings, and action. I think, you know, we could add more, I'm sure that, you know, we could add more of that, but, you know, I am actually going to, you know, call Dr. Browne to let us know about what does that require? What does advancing equity require, and she's going to unpeel some of those key concepts with us. Dr. Browne?
Dr. Browne: Thank you. Thank you, Dr. G. Let me say first, that I'm with the Center for the Study of Social Policy in Washington, DC. And our center – our agency has a long history of addressing equity in multiple contexts: policy, settings, and as well as working with – developing technical assistance materials to help to advance equity. So, I'm very – very proud to be a part of this and to, you know, share some of the ideas that we've partnered with the National Center to develop. So, I'll start by saying that intentionally and actively advancing equity, as well as advancing an anti-racism agenda, is an ongoing journey, and it requires much of us. Advancing equity requires a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, fair, and just choices on a daily basis. These kinds of choices require ongoing self-reflection and self-awareness, including confronting our own past and current biased or racist ideas. Advancing equity also requires increasing our awareness about things like racial and ethnic inequities and disparities and understanding more about key terms and constructs that center around equity and racism. Ultimately, advancing equity and being anti-racist is not about who you are. It's about what you do, including being an active champion, a voice of anti-racist ideas, attitudes, practices, and policies. So, we at the National Center on Parent, Family, Community Engagement, we're kicking off this webinar series by trying to unpack some of these key terms and concepts related to racial and ethnic equity. It's important to spend some time discussing these key terms because when we work with others on advancing an equity agenda, without understanding, without having a common understanding about some core concepts, we often find that people that we've been working with have very different assumptions about what these words mean. And so, we might end up working at cross-purposes and not communicating with each other well.
So, let's look at some of the key concepts that we'll talk about. For the next few minutes, we are going to ... let's go on to the next slide. For the next few minutes, we are going to look at several concepts, but before we talk about these concepts, I want to draw your attention to not only the title of this slide, but the title of the series. Please notice that we use the language “racial and ethnic,” rather than just racial; “racial and ethnic equity” rather than just “racial equity.” And this is much more than a semantic matter. We purposefully use racial and ethnic equity to avoid a black/white binary description of racial equity. And we want to make sure racial and ethnic equity., and we want to make sure to be inclusive of groups that regard themselves as ethnic groups rather than racial groups. So, when you look at the circles, and you see these terms such as “micro-aggression, deficit analyses, color blindness, et cetera.” These are examples of attitudes and behaviors that actually impede progress toward advancing racial and ethnic equity. And so, we need to examine, we need to get a good understanding of what some of these are. So, we'll start with prejudice and implicit bias. In this context, in the context of discussion about racial and ethnic equity, prejudice refers to a prejudgment or preconceived notion and feelings toward people based on – based on either some type of identity or characteristic that they have, such as race, ethnicity, gender, social class, sexuality, language, even ability. So, these are prejudgments that people make based on individual characteristics. In this context, prejudice is usually – usually relates to unfavorable ideas or feelings. Now, implicit bias, on the other hand, refers to attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, our actions, our decisions, in an unconscious manner. Studies have shown that implicit biases – in the context of education, particularly early education – studies have shown that implicit biases are associated with teachers, differential judgments, and treatment of children by race, gender, language, and socioeconomic status. Studies have also shown that preschool teachers frequently judge children's play, their perceived aggressiveness, their compliance, and their abilities in ways that frequently, disproportionately, and negatively affect Black and Latinx children. For example, preschool teachers, in studies, preschool teachers have been found to have implicit biases that are associated with disproportionate recommendations for suspensions and expulsions, particularly for Black and Latinx boys. So, even if these teacher's judgments and actions may be unintentional, the end result is that their implicit biases can negatively affect and limit the children's potential. So, addressing implicit biases and prejudices that people have is very, very important. The next two concepts that we'll take a look at is oppression and racism. Oppression refers to a prolonged mistreatment, exploitation, and disadvantaging of a group of people by another group with relative power. Those … The group that's in power uses dominance, control of social institutions, customs, and norms, to disadvantage another group. The dominant group tends to benefit from the oppression of other groups. For example, through heightened privileges relative to others and greater access to rights and resources. However, those who experience the brunt of oppression tend to have fewer rights, less access to resources and economic potential, and less political power. So, while not all of the people in the dominant group may not actively participate in sustaining oppression, all members of the group tend to benefit from the oppression of others, just as members being a member of the dominant group. And, you know, as I mentioned in ways like privileges, greater access to resources and rights. Social oppression tends to become ingrained and normalized in a society so much so that it just feels like, "Well, this is just the way things are." Racism, classism, sexism, ableism, all of these various different “isms” are considered to be systems of oppression. So, one of these systems is racism, as I just mentioned. Racism is a fundamental belief system; it is not an individual character flaw. It's a system – a system that structures opportunity and assigns value based on phenotype – based on how, you know, physical characteristics, how people look. But so, what are the impacts of this system called racism? Racism unfairly disadvantages some individuals and communities while also unfairly advantaging other individuals and communities. Racism plays a major role in shaping and reinforcing an equitable outcome for children and their families. And it's reflected in individual, interpersonal, institutional, and systemic or structural levels.
So, let's look at these different types of racism just for a second. The first type is individual racism. Individual racism refers to, you know, an individual, a person's beliefs, attitudes, and actions that support or perpetuate racism in both conscious or unconscious ways. For example, you know, holding on to this unscientific belief that are in the genetic superiority of one group and the genetic inferiority of other groups. So, that's a personal belief that some may have. Interpersonal racism occurs between individuals. So, these are public expressions of racism, such as racial slurs, micro-aggressions, or hateful words or actions that may be used. Institutional racism occurs in organizations. Institutional racism involve ways in which the policies and practices of organizations or parts of systems – like schools within the big educational system, courts within the judicial system – create how these institutions and organizations create different outcomes for different racial and ethnic groups. The institutional policies may never even mention any racial or ethnic group, but the policies have an effect of creating and maintaining that, again, advantages for one group and accumulated disadvantages for the other group. For example, again, in the educational context of institutional racism is that on average, children of color are disciplined more harshly than their white peers. They are also less likely to be identified as gifted and have less access to quality teachers. So, racism, institutional racism in schools can and does have severe consequences for students and for their future. The fourth type that I want to talk about is systemic or structural racism, you can call it either one of these. The term “structural or systemic racism” refers to how our country's history, core values, culture, public policy, contribute to and maintain inequitable racial and ethnic outcomes. For example, Black, indigenous, and other students of color, attend schools that are statistically more likely to be underfunded, overcrowded, outdated, and have more surveillance of the students that attend those schools. So, while individual and interpersonal racism can be damaging, institutional and systemic racism have a widespread impact by threatening the equity of our various social systems and fairness in the social institutions that we are all a part of.
Another big concept that we need to address is just, looking at equity, again, a little bit, but, you know, generally, more generally. When we talk about equity, in general, we're not only talking about, we are talking about being fair, but we're also talking about providing the specific needs of individuals and families. But interestingly enough, when you talk about having to – the need to advance equity, that implicitly suggests that not everyone starts at the same place. And so, advancing equity implies acknowledging unequal starting places for different groups of people, you know, due to the policies and practices and beliefs that create these outcomes. Indeed, Dr. Bergeron pointed out, this is why Head Start was created: to try to level the playing field for children experiencing poverty, and so, it wouldn't be so unequal by the time they got to school. Advancing equity also means that we must give voice to those who are often unheard by those who are in positions of power, again, as exemplified by Head Start, focus on and emphasis on having families as advocates and leaders. Advancing equity means protecting basic human rights and valuing human dignity. Ensuring equal opportunity and fairness at all levels, not only in the classroom, not only with families, but also with the workforce – all levels of the workforce. And then finally, advancing equity requires focusing on eliminating obstacles, addressing obstacles to success, such as poverty, oppression, racism, lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, lack of quality education and housing, lack of safe environments, all of that. So, all of that is a part of generally advancing equity. So, what do we mean when we say “racial and ethnic equity” more specifically? Racial and ethnic equity are commonly defined as conditions that would be achieved if one's racial or ethnic identity no longer predicted in a statistical sense, a person's outcomes. Racial and ethnic equity also refers to working to address the root causes of inequities and not just the manifestation of these inequities. And if we look more specifically and think about racial and ethnic equity in early childhood education systems, this image is an effort to capture that. The image was designed by the Build Institute in Michigan to highlight the four levels in which change is needed to achieve racial equity throughout early childhood education systems. And what I want to do is ... These four levels are personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. So, I want to look at each one of these a little bit more closely.
Advancing racial and ethnic equity in early childhood systems at the personal or individual level, again, involves engaging in self-reflection about our own beliefs and experiences that have shaped how we perceive, interact with, and respond to other ethnic and racial groups. It also means confronting our own biases and prejudices. At the interpersonal level, advancing racial and ethnic equity in early childhood systems means that all early childhood education professionals should know how to effectively work with students from backgrounds different from their own and provide diversity and form culturally and linguistically attuned services. At the interpersonal level, advancing racial and ethnic equity means being well-versed in how to have conversations about race and bias with young children. This is extremely important because when adults talk with young children about race, children are more likely to recognize discrimination when it occurs and show, even young children, a desire to confront it when it does happen. Advancing racial and ethnic equity at an institutional level in early childhood systems refers to applying a racial and ethnic justice mindset to programs, program policies, practices, regulations, and again, the work culture as well. It refers to working to dismantle policies that promote inequities with respect to children, families, and the workforce. And third, it means developing policies and practices that advance opportunities and access to resources for those who are most affected – negatively affected, by racial and ethnic inequity. And then structural – systemic or structural – at the systemic or structural level of early childhood education system, advancing racial and ethnic equity involves recognizing, first of all, that this is going to be difficult because structural conditions are so embedded into systems, but they tend to resist change. Nonetheless, it's important to challenge them to re-imagine what to be, how things could be different, and to challenge the existing structures that are supporting inequity and developing new structural arrangement. Advancing equity at the systemic level also means building shared leadership, particularly with parents and families. Building shared leadership and collective power that can lead to change. Ultimately, racial, and ethnic equity in early childhood systems means that all children can reach their fullest potential no matter their race or ethnicity. Racial and ethnic equity in early childhood systems means that parents are invited to be partners in early childhood systems because they are treated as true partners, advocates, and leaders. So, achieving racial and ethnic equity in early childhood systems means that the systems themselves – the systems that serve young children and their family – must be re-imagined and changed in order to really reach this ultimate goal.
The last concept that I want to just mention here is anti-racism. In addition to advancing racial and ethnic equity, we must also address or make efforts to advance anti-racism. Angela Davis stated a long time ago that, "In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, "to say I'm not racist, we must all be anti-racist." And so, anti-racism involves actively identifying, opposing, and working to eliminate racism by changing systems, by changing organizational structures, policies, practices, and attitudes. Being anti-racist and advancing anti-racism is an intentional mindset. Again, it's not about who you are, it's about what you do. When we choose to be anti-racist, and it is a choice, we become actively conscious about race and racism, and take actions to end racial inequities in our daily lives. Advancing anti-racism involves believing that racism is everyone's problem, and we all have a role to play in stopping it. So, in this content, in the context of education, promoting anti-racism refers to these seven things quickly that I'll mention. One, enhancing the ability of parents and early educational professionals to challenge racism and ethnic discrimination. Two, equipping children, parents, and early education professionals with the tools needed to combat racism and ethnic discrimination. Three, providing training for staff to reflect on and navigate through issues of race, power, and privilege in their own lives and in relationship to the families they work with. Four, advancing anti-racism, promoting anti-racism involves using data. First of all, collecting the data and using the data to identify and track disparities in outcomes and access and opportunities for children and families from different racial, ethnic language, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Fifth, promoting anti-racism involves building the knowledge, skills, and capacity of policymakers and system leaders to promote racial and ethnic equity and anti-racism. Six, providing ongoing funding for equity and anti-racism training and professional development, and finally, finding ways … I guess, all of this will lead to the seventh one about finding ways to build a society that includes all people on an equal footing.
It's our hope that one of the many takeaways that you should have from this webinar series –from this four-part webinar series – is that advancing racial and ethnic equity and anti-racism should be conceived as a professional obligation of early childhood education professionals. The National Association for the Education of Young Children offered a statement that I'd like to try to get back to if I can. Yeah, thank you. That … It reads, "All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities that help them achieve their full potential as engaged learners and valued members of society. Thus, all early childhood educators have a professional obligation to advance equity." It goes on to say that “They can do this best when they are effectively supported by the early learning settings in which they work and their wider communities embrace diversity and full inclusion as strengths, uphold fundamental principles of fairness and justice, and work to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities.” Each of us have work to do, to continue to build out equity that's at the heart of Head Start so that we can serve a diverse population of students and staff who are thriving as an equitable, inclusive, and anti-racist community. We have to commit to our own personal work, our interpersonal work, our organizational and institutional work, and our systems work.
So, as I pass the baton to my colleague, back to my colleague Guylaine, my question to everyone is what can you do to promote equity and anti-racism? So, I think that's where we should be, yeah. What can you do to promote equity and anti-racism? So, is it Brandi or Guylaine?
Brandi: Well, I'll take it just for a second, Dr. Harper Browne.
Dr. Browne: OK.
Brandi: Thank you. Thank you so much for your words, for your truth, for your inspiration, and for bringing us the definition. You have a lot of folks in the chat who are very grateful not only to have the words to operationally define the pieces that you brought forward, but also a lot of appreciation for the acknowledgement of the layers. And we'll come back to those in a little bit. And several of you have had these incredible questions that we are going to sprinkle throughout the rest of our time together but also in the Q&A, that we're going to stay together for the after chat, is what we lovingly call it. And what we want to do that though now is turn over the microphone to Dr. Richard because we have this frame that we really think will help to organize larger questions like, “What do we do in Head Start? How do we really stand together against racism, to be actively in an anti-racism space?” And you guys let us know what you think. What we have next for you is a frame that has really worked for us in many conversations with different audiences across the country to set up a space to really get at just that. So, Dr. Richard, what do you think? You want to show off the aides for a little bit?
Dr. Richard: Sure, sure. Thank you so much, Brandi. And thank you so much, Charlyn, for, you know, setting the tone for us as far as like, you know, true knowledge of the terms and what they mean as far as the layers of racism. So, when Dr. Browne was giving us this, I was like having a feeling that, you know, "So, what do I do? What can we do as a person? What can I do as a person? What can an institution do? What can an organization ... What can, you know, even like, you know, systems that have already established themselves, what can they do?” So, in this effort, I would like to, you know, talk to you about a tool that we have. You know, we're offering for you for exploration for you to see this is something that you can put in your daily work and, you know, and even an institution can use to support the work that they're going to do in their fight against racism and has become anti-racist. So, as I'm getting ready to do that, I would like to, first, tell you something that I've learned, and I'm going to do that quote from Maya Angelou, because Maya Angelou said one time, you know, she said – and I probably will not do her quote justice, but this is what I got out of it: You know, sometimes people will forget what you say, people will forget even what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. So, I want to get there with you because I would like for us to look at the mind, you know, at the brain and heart connection. So, for us to see is there a way we can put them together and make sure that we get somewhere, we can do something. So, what I am going to get ready to do, if you allow me, is to share a story. This is a personal story. And, you know, and after that I will unpeel with you the several, what we call the five A's when we want to explore growth toward racial and ethnic equity. You know, I'm taking you to Florida with me, and I am going to be taking you at the Palm Beach Airport. You know, that day I was going on an early flight because I was going to do a training, and the flight that I selected was a 7:30 flight, American Airlines, and, you know, usually on Monday morning at 7:30, the first flight has a lot of people, but there is a section of the plane where you don't ... Where, you know, where people, there are certain people really sit. And I want to say that that day when I went to the ticket counter and they said, "Oh, you were upgraded to first class." Imagine, I was so happy because I don't get the luxury to travel first class every time but, you know, that day I was lucky enough to get a ticket to get upgraded. So, I was really happy and getting ready to get into my seat and everything. It was like, "Yeah, I won the lottery. I'm going to sit, in my mind, with the big boys." The reason why I'm saying “big boys,” in Palm Beach County, usually when you get to those flights, a lot of the people seating on first-class are male, white male, and, you know, with a level of economic status that, you know, I don't have to describe to you. So, when the attendant went ahead and said, you know, "Group one,” and I was like, "Yeah, I got my ticket." So, you know, some of the people that usually goes on group one, the minute they call, they were already there on the line, and they started walking. As I was coming to the line because myself, I knew they'd call group one, and I have a group one, so I joined the line. She saw me joining the line and coming, she proceeded to say very loud, imagine everyone is listening. and, you know, everyone is looking at, probably, I don't know, probably me, I don't know, but at that time, I didn't pay enough attention because what she said, she said, "I said group one." And she looked at me. I immediately said, "Ooh, ooh. OK." And I am going ... I became, at that time, aware. See, that level of awareness that I got, "Ooh, something is being said. Something is going there. What is happening here?" So, you know, those are the kind of things that were going through my mind. So, I proceeded to stay in line and, you know, and I immediately said to myself, "I needed to really, really put that inside of me." This is my part of acknowledging. So, I'm going to be going to the story and after that I'll unpeel them with you. So, as I got there, and I look at her, and I said, "Hmm, OK." So, I proceeded to say, when I got close to her, and very loud, as loud as she was, I said, "I know how to count." And she immediately started mumbling, "Oh, my God! Oh, my God, this is ... I didn't have coffee yet. I didn't have coffee." And I look at her again, and I looked, and I said, "I got you. I got you," and I smiled. But I proceeded to get in that plane and sat as the only person that was from ... As a person of color sitting and that's the only female sitting in that first class that morning.
So, let me go ahead and try to explain to you. I'm sure that, you know, you can imagine how I was feeling, but I would take the opportunity now to unpeel the five A's with you whenever. So, at that time to tell you the truth, I didn't know if it was racism, I didn't know if it was micro-aggression, my brain couldn't go even there. I just knew that I needed to be aware that something was happening, that I was noticing something that was said, and I don't know if I had all the information about this person, but I know she was a White person, and I was a Black woman, a person of color, and this is what went at me. So, I wanted to really know. So, what happened here is the second step. So, if I were a program, if I were an institution, a system, the first thing that all of us have to do is to get to that level of awareness. You need to look at yourself, you need to find some information. And I think, you know, now, as we see a lot of institution, a lot of agencies are getting there, being aware saying, "Oh, there is something that happened. There is something that happened. So, how do we see ourselves?" So, that's the first step, is that awareness. When I said – when I went, and I got the gut checked, that was my part of being aware of what's happening. But, you know, as I was aware of it, I immediately start to move to acknowledge. What does acknowledgment mean? To acknowledge is to admit to be real or true. Recognize the existence, the truth, or fact of. So, when you come from awareness, it's like something hit you; somebody says something, or you see a behavior, something hits you, you're first aware of it, you know, the going to the acknowledge it, gets you to a place where you bring it to full consciousness; you bring it and you accept it, you know, you are looking at it as true. It is, “Yes, this person said something, G, she said it to you.” OK, so now the third step, that the third A, that I would love for you to look with me at is the accept. And I know I may be getting you some visceral reaction here for people to say, "Oh, no, I'm not going to accept that she said that to me." No, this is not what happened. I know that I was feeling, I was hurt. The words she said hit me. So, I had to accept that I was hit, that I was hurting. So, I started making the connection between my brain and my heart, this is something emotionally that was dismantling, you know, making me uncomfortable.
So, I didn't accept the discrimination. I didn't accept the micro-aggression or racism. I did not accept it. I accepted the fact that G was hurt. So, I took full value of this emotional connection that was happening. So, at that point, you know, then I moved quickly to the place where I needed to appreciate, and that's the fourth A. The fourth A is that appreciation, that appreciate me as to judge with heightened perception or understanding. I had to put myself in a place where I could say, "Is she really talking to this G? This Dr. G?" No. Dr. G was ... I know that she felt, "OK, deal with that woman that probably doesn't understand that, you know, I said ‘group one,’ so therefore she doesn't belong there. I am talking to this woman who usually doesn't go on first class. I'm talking to this, but myself, I had to appreciate myself and the abilities that I had." Immediately, I made the connection. I left my emotional hurt, but I went to my connection and said, "Are you this G? No, you are smart." You are like, you know, you didn't steal the ticket, they gave it to you. You're going to go there; you're going to have to sit there and guess what? This is where the thing happens.” This connection if you're able to do it, I did not want. You see, I appreciated myself. I said, You are all the things she thinks. You are Black. But you didn't steal the ticket, and you know how to count. So, you're going to have to say something." That's why I said, "I know how to count." And because I didn't want her, I didn't want to meet her expectation of being a mad Black woman that would have started like, you know, a fight with her. A fight with her would have not let me get inside. A fight with her would have made me look bad and would have made me look sad. That wasn't the person I was. So, I decided then to take this action, and my action was simply after I appreciate myself and as an organization, I can say the same thing. I can say like, you know, but “We're not this organization that accept like, you know, racism, micro-aggression, how do we change that?” So, this is when you go to the real place where you're making the difference for yourself, for an organization, you act. Remember, when Dr. Browne was talking, and she said, you know, you need to do something, you need to commit to something, you need to go places, you know, you need to really show that, you know, you are anti, not just saying that I am not. You want to say anti. So, what am I ready to do? Guess what? What is the outcome I want? How do I get there? All this very quickly the brain went there and said, "G, don't fight. Go and enter but say something because you're hurt." Maybe at that time if you asked me, "Were you hurt? Did you want to hurt her?" I could say yes, but I wanted to be doing it in a way that I appreciate myself. I didn't want to be, you know, an idiot and go there and fight.
So, what I did, I went and said, "I know how to count." And those words only made herself be that person to look at herself because she became herself, aware that she had done something. She probably acknowledged, "Oh, my God, I told her something wrong." But when she went to the third one to that accept ... When she went to the accepting, she went into straight denial, she wasn't ready to accept. So, what I'm trying to say whether you are on the giving end of micro-aggression or something like this or whether you are on the receiving end, the five A's can support you into really making that brain and heart connection that if you don't mix them together, what you do is a reaction. We don't want to be reacting, we want to act. And neither … I don't want anybody to stay into inaction because that's paralysis. We want to act; we want to do something, and that doesn't take a lot of time. And I would ... As I'm saying that to you, I would love you to be thinking about all the time yourself where you have been the recipient of something that hurts you, the feeling that you have, and or, you were on the giving of ... You were giving something that you think that hurt someone. We all have the opportunity to use the five A's to support the action that you're going to take. At times, you may want to say, for example, I know when, you know, when I'm talking about this, Brandi usually tells me, "G, what could she have done? What's the action that you were waiting for her to have?" And guess what? I said often, all I would have accepted from her, all I would have wanted it if she would appreciating herself is to tell me sorry. So, I hope that we have the five A's, you have an opportunity now to look at your individual self when it comes to that individual level that we were talking about but also as an organization. An organization can go through those same five steps, through that process, by looking at, "Am I aware of what is happening?" Or, you know, it's like when you look at your hiring practices, when you look at this, "Am I that person who wants to have like, you know, minorities not represented? What can I do? Am I OK with that, appreciation and stuff, but what can I do?" And when you find out what you can do because you have gone through this, you are able to take the proper action. So, I wanted to make sure that we know that those things are not one after the other, they are cyclical, meaning that, you know, at times you go back to one, it's OK. It's your own pathway, it's the organization, the institution pathway because we're going to have to move the way we can move. We're not going to be able to wash thing out, but if we give the heart and mind connection, you're more likely to take the proper action.
Brandi: Dr. Richard, thank you so much.
Dr. Richard: Brandi, I was passing you the baton.
Brandi: Thank you, Dr. Richard. I was reading your mind, and I have to say that there’s many folks in the question pod who are offering their gratitude for your personal story, for the way that you offered it to each of us in reflection. To … Already, the ways that they're thinking about applying the A's in their own story, and G, I have to say I'm feeling vulnerable, and I wasn't going to do this today. But I want to just, given the power of these A's … G alluded a couple of times to the fact that you can apply these whoever you are, wherever you are. And one of the conversations that, often when we get into this dialogue together, that we make in real-time is, you know, the acknowledgement of who we are in the space. And many of you saw my picture at the top of our webinar. I am a white person and honestly, I have a lot of vulnerability about having the honor to stand in the space of this conversation, and many of you may have questions, you know, about that. So, what Dr. Richard and Dr. Harper Browne have taught me over time is that I too can apply the A's, and I wanted to share it with you today in service of my experience and my growth in these conversations over time. And one of the things that I've learned is even starting with that first A and being aware is, well, I'm aware that I'm a white lady, but sometimes I have to voice it to others too because there are questions, you know, many like would like what I posed like, "Well, how and why do you get to be here in this space? And, you know, how can you know about my journey?" And I have to acknowledge that for myself that that's a true and real question. And I have to accept that that is real for each of us, in my own reflections and perhaps other reflections of folks who I have the honor to speak with. What I've learned over time is that I can still appreciate myself and hope to contribute in ways that, you know, move forward this conversation of being actively in an anti-racism space, which leads me to the same place that Dr. Richard led us, is an action. And that's exactly what we want to pose, you know, for each of you today. We promised that we would be asking again, you know, “What action are you inspired to take” And we pulled from a few resources that we together have collected from each of your voices from, of course, each other and the work that we've been doing all across the country, and these are a few concrete examples that we wanted to offer today. Speak up. Speak up when you hear things that are biased. Ask questions, and many of these, you know … Dr. Richard, I think, lean back into the A's, they're just like the how of the A's really. Ask questions to learn more so that we can seek additional information when faced with hateful remarks. Here's another, if someone speaks up against hate, thank them, this is what we would call like an echo. Like if you hear someone who's being an upstander, it's something we learned from Dr. Nita Mosby Tyler ... If you see that and hear that and someone speaks up against that, have gratitude and reiterate that anti-bias message. We have more macro things, as Dr. Harper Browne showed us, there are many layers that we need to be thinking about, not only as individuals and within the context of our interpersonal relationships, but certainly, within our programs and in the larger system. And so much of this conversation is going to be continued in the four-part webinar series that we don't want to forget things like hiring policies and specifically, strategic plans that are related to anti-racism for the classroom.
These are all ideas that we can sort of have together, and we're going to come back to see you one more time and think about this and ask what you are going to do today when you leave and what you're going to be inspired to think about. With that, I wanted to reference a couple of things based on where Dr. Browne took us in her reflections, and what we've been able to do, is going to be off to the side to the left-hand part of your screen, in the bottom corner, you're going to see a space called “Event Resources.” And there are three of those for you to download. So, let me come back to that 'cause many of you have asked for the PowerPoint, and it is there for you. I'm happy to report, and you can download it from the Event Resource pod. You'll also see a one-page handout that lists what you're about to see. We took the liberty of putting a few resources in each of the levels that Dr. Harper Browne told us about. So, what you see on the screen are some actions that you can take then, what you see on the right-hand side of the screen in the bolded letters are all connected to the one-page handout you have over in that resource space that you can download. And there are hyperlinks that are going to take you over to each of those resources. So, if you want to extend and expand this conversation for yourself as an individual, if you want to bring this dialogue into your program in a specific way 'cause we know so many of you are already having these conversations, then you'll have those resources at your fingertips. And the great thing about this is when you find one resource, you go down this great adventure of finding several more that are connected. So, there's so much available for us. We just tried to distill a little bit for you to kind of get you started and where you think you want to go next in your own journey. So, as you see here, on the screen, we have the Personal Level Resources, and there are a few things that we can do here. You can see here, to “take active action to de-bias.” “Building new associations through increased intergroup contact.” “Creating conditions for success where there are equal status within their contact situation.” “Intergroup cooperation,” where we form common goals. And this is something we alluded to earlier, in terms of our lessons learned, how that you create this space together so that when you move forward, you have buy-in, you have shared understanding, and that's often where the really critical and important conversations happen. We've even had some groups tell us one of the most important parts of their journey was to define what equity means to them. So, some little tips here.
Also, we put a couple of tools off to the side, you'll see those there. Many of you are aware of and have used for a long time, the Implicit Association Test that come from Harvard. There is a group called “Race Equity Tools,” and on the website that they have that are in the handout that we have for you off to the side there, they have videos, they have websites, and PDFs, and what's really cool about this set of tools is that they are also organized in the layers that Dr. Harper Browne gave us a little earlier. So, let me show you guys a few more of these. We're just going to touch a couple of things. I also wanted to acknowledge on this interpersonal level, many of you may have seen, and we have that off to the side in the Event Resource space too, that OHS sent out to us, not too long ago, an e-blast that included ... And many of you asked about this, "How to talk about race and racism with children" And it's a super-rich list of resources, and it is over there in the resource pod for you to download. But we highlighted a few of these for you on this slide because you guys know how we do in Head Start. We believe and revere family engagement, and one of the many ways that we believe that we can contribute to being actively in an anti-racism space is to use the power of each other and certainly, the voices of our parents. And we'll see here a couple of specific resources, these last three, in particular, come from that correspondence. The ones that say talking about race, embrace race, and also this last one from, I believe it's zero to three, on racism and violence using your power as a parent to support children aged two to five. So, you'll see a few of those things over there. And I know many of you as you're considering the ways that you're going to step into, for instance, you're in-service discussion, the way that you're going to think about conversations with families as you return in whatever ways you choose to do that. These are really great resources to have available for families to really inspire these continued conversations over time. Here are a couple for you to pick back on the institutional or programmatic level. And I can't leave this slide without acknowledging, first and foremost, the multicultural principles which are on the tippy top here, and many of you know these at the time-tested, extremely loved and adored set of resources in our Head Start community. And those certainly are on the list here and continue to be very valuable set of resources and information for us to apply in our early childhood context. And then we also have here a couple of other resources from NAEYC and then, this last one on “Racial Equity Tools,” this definition and analysis, specifically about institutional racism or what we might call programmatic, at the programmatic level, come from a group called “Solid Ground,” and that's a PDF for you.
And last but not least, we have the structural or systemic level, as Dr. Harper Browne reminded us, and you have three resources here to take a peek at, and these are really important because, well, a couple of reasons. You'll notice that we have glossaries woven within and throughout. Now, this glossary is specific to the structural level. So, it allows us to look more at that zoomed out macro space of, you know, systemic applications of oppression and racism and what we can do to combat those. Now, you'll hear some more about this through the course of this four-part series, but we wanted to bring these to you because if you're actively in a space of activism in your community, and you're really working toward making sure that all of us have access to the services that we need and the timing that we deserve it, these are some of the things that we feel like could be helpful for you in those journeys. So, let us know what you think. All right, well, without further ado, we do have the after chat. So, I hope you're available to stay with us to think together some more but before we do, we'd love to hear from you based on the journey that we've taken in the short 90 minutes, where we've had the chance to think together about our Head Start context and why and how equity matters to us. The ways that we grounded together and Dr. Harper Browne section around the key concepts, Dr. Richard's nod towards the five A's and how to put those to practice for all of us, and what you might be feeling in your own reflection. Talk to us in that question pod and tell us what you're inspired to do. And you could talk about that at any of the levels in which, you know, we've reviewed today. So, I'm going to pause here for a quick second and go over to the chat and see a little bit about what's happening over there. And, Dr. Richard, what do you see happening?
Dr. Richard: OK, Brandi, I am actually going in, there is so much, and there is so much that we can feel that with our friends here that I am, you know, really short for words, it's like, "Oh, I think we can take another 45 minutes." There is a lot. I am actually ... If I were to go to the ... As you can see, I'm trying to still go, go, go, go. Brandi, I'm so sorry but ...
Brandi: I'm scrolling.
Dr. Richard: You're scrolling up with me too, let's do that together.
Brandi: I didn't mean to catch you off guard, but you're so right, we do have so many folks that are sharing a lot of wonderful information. I'm scrolling up to see a few things about, you know, standing actively in conversations, and really being even ... And, G, I have to go back to something real quickly, your A or your action statement. One of the things that I'm holding close to my heart is, you know, in many of the recent conversations we've been having with groups is that action, like picking your individual action, which could be reading, which could be reflecting, so many of these things are coming up in chat around being able to think together in the moment, make more conscious decisions about your reactions or, G, as you've inspired us to think about actions ...
Dr. Richard: Uh-huh. There is something that, Brandi, I am thinking I forgot to say it, and I would love the opportunity to say that like, you know, one of the action, like, you know, as an action, you know, a lot of us will try to become, for example, an ally. What is as an ally, what is a person that will like, you know, stand in a conversation and, you know, like try. Some of us will become but, you know, the only thing I've learned that with simply from another speaker, Dr. Nita, she said something that stayed with me. The only thing like, you know, and I saw that question here on a personal level, I need to speak up for others. We like, you know, is being an upstander. She talked about upstander instead of being a bystander, but I really want to say, Brandi, that I really would love for people to know that you speak – speaking for others, you're going to be able to do it after yourself, you take the strength, you know, to do something and to commit. This is a commitment; this is something that you want to do and give yourself the time to do it when you're ready.
Brandi: Yeah, I like this Dr. Richard, and there's so much that really comes forth when you're able to think and have these conversations and reflections ahead of time with a trusted colleague. There's so many things that we've learned together, that really, as you stand in these conversations, and you keep showing up and you move forward together, that each and every time as we're facilitating these kinds of conversations, then the next time that you enter into this kind of interaction with someone, it becomes easier to find your voice and the place that you want to represent what your action will be. And, G, that takes me back to, you know, to the story that you gifted us with. Well, I know we have a few logistical bits to close out before we transition ourselves into the after chat where we'll take some questions from each of you. So, many of you had asked, so I want to make sure that you have this at the ready. This is the first of a four-part series, so we have three more coming. And they're going to be ... There's one more at the end of this month, and then two more in September, and you'll see the titles for those on the slide. The other thing that I would love to offer for you guys is if you have any questions or comments about the series, OHS has established an email address for you right here that we put at the bottom. So, you're welcome to reach out directly to the Office of Head Start there to offer your ideas, reflections, or questions. So, feel free to do that. And you can actually go over to the ECLKC, dependent on your geography, ECLKC, ECLKC, the E-C-L-K-C, and you can register for each of these there. Just in the same place that you found us for today, there'll be a placeholder for each of these dates over there and you can register so that you can join us for the entire series.
Another thing that I'd like to offer is always an important question for you guys. We know how much these professional development opportunities, you know, mean, and we also know how important it is for you to have a record of them for your professional development files. So, we have for you a certificate that will come to you after you fill out the evaluation. And you'll see that link right there at the bottom, in the bottom right-hand corner of this slide. So, you're welcome to click on that and let us know how your experience was today. And certainly, you'll have a certificate so that you can put this in your file and have it for your own documentation for your program. And with that, let's chat. Dr. Richard, Dr. Harper Browne, I know that you have been looking at some of the questions as I've been closing things out, and I’m wondering if there is one that you would like to begin with?
Dr. Browne: This is Charlyn. Yes, I was taken by the question about a child making a statement to another child that the teacher would see as offensive or potentially racist. And so, that's what I've been thinking about 'cause that's just a hard thing to hear and respond to. But I think that one of the most important things is how the teacher responds and, you know, in the immediate. And one of the things that I would suggest is that you foster – you respond to the child without shaming the child, without making the child feel like what they said was wrong. Either in your word ... You can make children feel that what they did was wrong by not only your words, but the expression on your face. So, you need to be, you know, tuned into your expression and your words. You want to make sure that you are fostering awareness with the child; you're helping the child to understand what they, you know, what they said, the nature of what they said, but as I said, without shaming them, without making them feel that they were wrong. So, you want to ask a lot of questions to the child rather than you preaching to the child, you want to ask a lot of questions because you want to find out where the comment ... Do they even realize that it was racist or offensive, you know, to have said it? You want to know where it came from. You know, what made it say that, and we should not assume, you know, the immediate self is that, you know, their parents are saying things that, the child's parents are saying things at home that are racist and this child is just repeating it. But we should not just make that immediate assumption. We don't know where it came from. So, you want to try to find that out too. So, you need to ask a series of questions to the child in a very calm way. And, you know, "Tell me what you mean when you say that? When you say that X, Y, or Z? And what makes you feel ..." If it's a feeling question, you know, I don't like something or that's ugly, what makes you feel that way, about whatever the child said. I can't remember what the person said in the chat, ask them how they think, you know, the person, the little kid, other kid felt, you know, by saying that.
The thing is, you know, once teachers and any early childhood education person, you know, accepts that this is an important conversation to have, then you create a classroom environment that's open and it's a kind environment. So, when you talk about what was said, you can frame it as an unkind statement and not necessarily wrong. And you all have talked in the past about … Hopefully, you've talked in the past about kindness, unkindness, what do you do, you know, when somebody's feelings are hurt and all that, and if you could tie it back to that, you know, those are just a few suggestions. I'm sure that's not the only thing, but you want to create an environment where only kind and respectful comments are tolerated. And when unkind things are said, the kids know that, you know, they need to fix it, they need to correct it, they need to apologize, they need to ... But not just apologize, you know, sort of blindly, you know, they really need to, you know, to feel that this is a sincere … This is something that I need to do because I hurt someone's feelings. So, just some immediate thoughts.
Brandi: Thank you for that, Charlyn. I also want to go back to something that you offered a little earlier as well, and I'm going to give you a second to do that. You gave us the list of seven things, as you offered your remarks a little earlier, and there was a question to repeat those. So, if you need a second to grab those, we can certainly take another question. But if you have them at the ready, we can do that one now too.
Dr. Browne: OK, I do. Enhancing the ability of parents and professionals to challenge racism. And number two goes with one, I probably should have put it as the same one, but I just like number seven. So, number one is enhancing the ability of parents and professionals to challenge racism. Number two is equipping them with tool – the kind that you were just talking about – with tools and resources that they need to combat racism and ethnic discrimination. So, it's this information and maybe even toys that they could use for all kinds of [Inaudible]. Number three, providing training – ongoing training – for staff to reflect on and navigate through issues about race and power and privilege in their own lives. So, you know, this is a one-on, one-off experience. Staff need to be able to have spaces in their work environment where they can have talk with each other, in dyads or even in larger groups, about their issues about race, power, and privilege. And also, in relation to family. So, that's number three. Number four is about collecting and using data to identify and track disparities – racial and ethnic disparities, language disparities, and disparities related to SES, socioeconomic status. Number five is about building the knowledge, skills, and capacity of leaders, of policymakers, and system leaders so that they know more about racial and ethnic equity and anti-racism. Number six is providing funding for this – for this kind of thing: for professional development and training around equity and anti-racism. And then, the last one is, and I think, maybe the six ... If those are in place, then we are working to finding ways to build a society that includes all people on an equal footing. If the ground is unlevel from the beginning, then finding ways to level that playing field. So, those are the seven that I mentioned.
Brandi: Thank you for that, Charlyn. There were some real interest in those. And Dr. Richard, I know that you've been following the chat closely as well, you know, a couple of questions that came up for you. Which one would you like to offer?
Dr. Richard: Actually, Brandi, that's OK. I would take just quickly one that, you know, where we talked about ... When we were talking about the five A's, and we wanted to, you know, someone spoke about like, you know, what to do when you think that intentionally somebody wants to hurt like, when somebody is hurting or like … I want to say that , not that I want to belittle the fact that, you know, we have people that really have taken the, you know, the stand to be like, you know, some to be – to have racism into their behavior, the way they conduct themselves. I'm not belittling that, but what I want to really say is that a lot of us, and we have to admit that we all have, we all have biases. We all have biases. There are about 170 biases, like, you know, that exist. So, we all have biases because guess what? We all, from the moment, ... Even, you know, the preferences that we have are really what we ...When this [Inaudible] … This is what happened when you let those biases that you have. For example, you know, I may say, "I don't like people dressing … I don't like people with certain kind of hair.” And here it is: This is a bias. This is something that I am not allowing the person to be that way because I don't like it. You know, it's the same thing. You may not like chocolate ice cream, you may like vanilla ice cream, but we all like, you know, we all have ice cream as a thing. So, I want us to really pay attention. I don't think that woman meant to do any, meant to raise any feeling, or maybe I don't know , because I don't think so, letting a job. But I think, you know, she let it be like, you know, it's kind of a warning to me, "You're coming to the wrong lane. Hey, this is not the lane that is usually that I see you." But you see, those are the kind of things that can happen when we not taking charge of and discovering and be aware and going into self-reflection ourselves to find out the biases that are dictating the behaviors, you know, that we're going to have when we are with other people. And I want to say that, you know, again, when somebody hurt for hurting you may because a lot of time also, one thing that I've learned, I've learned that when people are communicating, they're not fighting. So, therefore, the minute if ever you have the opportunity to communicate with someone and ask the person "Why? Tell me more. Tell me more." Just those three ... These short sentences can really tell you because a person that really go things maybe themselves hurting. So, you know, this is an opportunity for you to have honest communication, and, you know, see how you can come to a place where you both live. And I would leave you with this, when I see myself, when I see the way we're going to be anti-racist, I see a world where you see me in you, and I see you in me.
Brandi: Oh, G, that's the part. that's the part. “When I see you in me, and you see me in you.” Being able to look at one another and experience a connection that allows, if nothing else, as you said, you know, the conversation 'cause when you keep showing up, it means that you care enough about somebody, and even if you made a mistake, even if you had a misstep, even if there's a mismatch, the opportunity to repair is there. I love what you said. I appreciate that. Oh, gosh, guys, we could hang out ... Dr. Richard said there was so much that's going on in the chat. Could y'all just hang out for the rest of the day? Anybody available? We just treasure the time with each of you so much. And several of you have asked for the survey link. So, I'm going to go right back there 'cause we want to make sure that your certificate gets to you; is a critical part of how we operate. So, we'll put that back that for you, so you don't have to worry about that. And I just wanted to offer, you know, I've kind of tease and say, "I talk for a living and it's not often that I am at a loss of words." But this experience has been one that I'm just incredibly honored, each of us are, as we've all mentioned to be part of. We're so thankful for you, Dr. Bergeron, and our leadership at the Office of Head Start for continuing this critical conversation, especially right now. And I would say that the most of our gratitude is for you. What each of you have been doing every single day, what each of you are doing as the heartbeat of your community, what each of you are doing to stand in a way that is supportive of each other. And we're just incredibly grateful for who you are and for what you do, and for what you bring to each of us. So, thank you to everyone. We're going to go ahead and wish you ... See you next time, and we'll look forward to the next conversation that will happen on August 20 of this month. Thank you, guys, so much. Enjoy the rest of your day.Close
In this webinar, the National Center on Parent, Family, and Community Engagement focuses on racism and equity. Explore information about creating respectful, inclusive environments that invite and honor the diverse perspectives of staff and families in service of moving forward together. Review foundational and key terms, resources, and strategies for addressing racism in Head Start and Early Head Start settings.