As early as age 3 and 4, children show racial bias. Early childhood is a critical age group in which to begin the work of anti-racism. The roots of a welcoming and understanding community can grow deep and wide when purposely planted among the very young. This project begins with toys and books that illustrate multiple cultures and includes materials to help staff guide difficult and open conversations between themselves, and among parents. The goal is to eliminate unintentional bias before it has a chance to lodge in impressionable minds, and to model inclusiveness. As adults, we sometimes can only imagine a world where all are respected and celebrated; for young children, this world can be their reality if we work to make it happen. This pilot project of five classrooms (birth – age 5) will provide meaningful feedback on the impact of ‘courageous conversations’ with our youngest scholars and their caregivers.
Harley Hopkins Family Center