Reflection, Commitment, and Doing the Work

July 14, 2020 Anna Shults

CFNC Family,

Last month, we shared that we stand united as a community and denounce and are outraged by the police brutality and institutionalized racism that we have witnessed in our country. We said that, as a multi-cultural, multi-racial community, we acknowledge there are many different experiences with racism and we must do better for our students and families to ensure we are not perpetuating racism intentionally or unintentionally. We stated that over the next month, we would prioritize looking internally within our own organization to examine how we can strengthen the work we are doing well around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) and identify immediate strategies to address the areas where we need improvement.

And, we stated that we would hold ourselves accountable and share with you, our journey and our progress.

Since then, our team has spent time to reflect, work, and commit.

Reflect

Our team came together for continuing conversations about race and how we can become better supporters of each other and our community.

Our board held an emergency meeting with our DEI consultant to talk about how the murder of George Floyd has impacted us.

We reflected about how much our team and supporters love our students and community and how even through that love, implicit bias still shows up and can cause unintentional harm.

Work

We continued to work on our classroom-centered and internally-focused DEI plan thanks to the support of ACT for Alexandria. We are grateful to our two incredible DEI consultants from Carney Sandoe, & Associates, Lawrence Alexander and Brandon Jacobs for leading us through challenging, thoughtful, growth-happening conversations and strategy and we look forward to continuing this work.

We also found it important to continue to lift the voices of Black leaders on our social medial channels. We hope you feel better informed and more capable now to engage young people and your community about racism.

Commit

We are committed to doing the work to become an anti-racist organization. We have a long journey ahead of us. Through our Racial Equity in Early Learning Plan, we will focus on three major pillars of our organization:

Operations
Create a shared calendar to increase transparency and communication among all team members. By creating a shared calendar, we can all understand busy times throughout the year, and how our positions are interrelated. We will share this with our families, team, and community so everyone knows what is happening.

Reshape hiring and create a more inclusive hiring model.

Classrooms
100% of classrooms will utilize multi-cultural materials to reflect all families we serve.

100% of staff will complete bias/cultural trainings, and report they better understand our diverse families and how to serve them.

CFNC will finalize a Racial Equity in Early Learning Plan that centers around our diverse clientele and includes an implementation toolkit to share with other local preschool providers.

Board Engagement
Our board came together to talk about the importance of open dialogue about race.

We will be gathering for a four-part series to build a racial equity strategy at the board level.

We invite you to be a part of this journey with us. We are committed to sharing our progress with you quarterly. Together we must do this work because it sits squarely in our mission. Children are the future of our community and the responsibility to create the change we want to see for them rests with us.

Suggested Reading

“I’m Still Here” by Austin Channing Brown

“How to be an Anti-Racist” by Ibram X.  Kendi

Children’s Books on Racism