Black Lives Matter.
To hear a child cry for their mother is heartbreaking. To hear a man cry for his mother in his last breaths is even more devastating. The collective anguish felt when George Floyd called for his mother is undeniable.
At Erikson, all of our hearts are heavy this week as the news continues to be filled with the impact of 400 years of racial injustice and systemic anti-Black racism in the U.S. Recent events— the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and now, George Floyd— painfully remind us that we still have a lot of work to do in achieving equity through an anti-racist agenda.

There are countless incidents like this, known and unknown, that permeate the daily lived experience of many Black people. In Chicago, we need to look no further for inequality than our own hometown over the past 90 days and how the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated Black, Latinx, and Native American communities at disproportionate rates. 

Erikson’s Policy and Leadership Department continues to advance anti-racist work that leads to dismantling structural racism. We believe that work starts with focusing on a child’s early years and giving them the best start in life. Our partners include a cross-sector of leaders whose work intersects with various aspects of child development. Our collective efforts facilitate action that leads to public policy and systemic change with the goal of strengthening the foundation for a child’s growth and development, health, and happiness.

We appreciate you and look forward to connecting with you on ways to advance racial equity.

In partnership,
The Policy & Leadership Team
Actions to Advance Racial Equity
There are many ways to support racial equity work but it is important to acknowledge that the unrest we are seeing today stems from centuries of historical inequities and trauma.

  • Learn about institutional racism. The Seeing White podcast takes a deep dive into the history of White identity and race in America.

  • Amplify voices. Commit to ensuring communities of color are at decision-making tables.

  • Ensure an accurate Census count. Census data is essential to identifying racial disparities, allocating resources, and securing political representation.

  • Support or partner with efforts to increase voter registration in communities of color.
Leading with a Racial Equity Lens
Meaningful and intentional conversations about racial inequities and how they intersect with early childhood systems is key to understanding the barriers to resources needed for optimal child development and creating effective, long-lasting solutions. Leading with a racial equity lens helps us to:

  • Understand the importance of our influence and roles in addressing racial equity issues; 

  • Be deliberate about racial equity when making decisions on policies, practices, programs and budgets; 

  • Thoughtfully examine the unintended consequences of our or others’ decisions; and 

  • Ensure community voices and leadership in the decision-making process. 
This Google document provides links to anti-racism resources to facilitate self-education and navigate discussions on race and protests with children and a dults.
Policy & Leadership Team

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