Justice in Early Childhood (Just Us in Early Childhood)
It was nice to get acquainted with many of the stakeholders for CAEYC at the recent Annual Conference in Pasadena. The many dialogues that I had with the members were truly valid. Although many groups are included among our advocacy for young children, there are some still being left out.
This brings me to think about all of the cultural and memorable events that have taken place since the start of the new year. We have observed Kwanzaa, Martin Luther King, Chinese New Year, African-American History Month and Women’s History Month. In April, we celebrated Week of the Young Child, Jackie Robinson Day and Earth Day.
As I reminisce about the activities and events that have taken place I realized that we still have a way to go to have full inclusion that benefits the young children we serve. Still to be considered are children with special needs to be in mainstream classrooms, more men employed in early childhood and recognition of early childhood educators being held in high regard to their other teacher predecessors, just to name a few. There is one particular school district that I know of that does not allow for their early childhood teachers to be nominated for Teacher of the Year honors. It is ironic because the same particular school district actually named an early childhood educator for the honor a few years ago. I believe that preschool is the foundation for learning.
It is time that we as professionals take action to make sure that inclusion is merged in all phases of the work we do. Martin Luther King wrote a book entitled, “Why We Can’t Wait.” It is time that we take a risk and do what is right for our young children. Jackie Robinson took a risk to steal home plate. There are many women in the early childhood field who took a stance in advocating for men working in the field. These are particular efforts worth celebrating for Week of the Young Child. Lastly, as we celebrated Earth week; we want to make sure that our children are inheriting a space where they can truly evolve and make this world a better place.
The Diversity in Action group will embrace anyone who wishes to participate on the committee. We look forward to having a great presence at the CAEYC Annual Conference & Expo next year in Ontario, California. We would also like to hear from you on how you are championing diversity in your workplace and/or affiliate. You can send correspondence and pictures.
Please communicate with me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for your advocacy.
Diversity in Action Chair