Over the past week, I have been inspired by the eloquent words of so many of my colleagues across our field who are also committed to the health and promise of each and every child, individual, family and community.
Yet I struggled to put sentences together that clearly articulate the deep despair and sorrow that the death of George Floyd, suffocated to death under the knee of a white police officer, have evoked for me as a Mexican-American woman. I can feel its painful pressure in my own life, and the lives of my parents and grandparents.
I share this not to compare my experiences with those of others, but to acknowledge this incredibly tragic string of events that strikes each of us in a very personal way. If we are to confront the reality of racism, implicit biases and their painful outcomes, we need to talk about them in a very personal way. We need to share, be vulnerable, listen, hold space for the hard conversations and be willing to act.
We at CCAoA are working to identify and elevate resources that can help CCR&Rs, providers, families and children deal with these traumatic events. In the midst of a pandemic and with child care providers in many states preparing to reopen, we are committed to equipping you with tools to help respond and recover. We also are holding a series of webinars on “Racial Justice, Equity and the role of Child Care.”
As an organization, we are committed to continuing our own learning and evolution with humility. Child Care Aware® of America’s strategic priorities and values reflect our commitment to our mission that “each and every child” has access to early childhood programs so that they might thrive. We are working toward dismantling the very structural and institutionalized racism that caused the deaths of countless souls and creating a world with equitable supports for all families and communities.
Our work is centered in the core tenets of social and economic justice – that equal opportunities are available to every child. We believe through our collective practice and advocacy that the equitable opportunities of nurturing, learning and care will result in children able to grow and thrive, along with their families and communities. We are a child-centered; family-engaged; community-based; and equity-driven organization.
I invite you to actively participate in the conversation as we continue to advance the organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion goals. It is only by this path that we can create a more equitable and effective organization.