I think the first few years is very much like building the frame of a house, so you’re constructing the framework upon which everything else will develop.
Charles A. Nelson III, PhD
Pediatrician and Neuroscientist
Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital
From Netflix®’s The Beginning of Life series, “Fantastic Baby” episode
Five core premises represent both the impetus that led to the formation of Before Racism™ and the foundation on which our work is based.
- Children are not born racist.
- Children begin to notice differences between themselves and others at a very young age and begin to make judgments and develop biases about those differences soon thereafter.
- White people need to accept and assume greater responsibility for actively addressing and preventing the development of racism and perpetuating Anti-Blackness. Before Racism is an example of the white community taking increased ownership and accountability for systemic racism and the obligation to end it.
- The content of Before Racism is informed and shaped in consultation with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities, with a particular focus on anti-Blackness.
- The Before Racism program is based on the integration of science and developmentally-appropriate early childhood educational practices.