Core Premises

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

There are four core premises that represent both the impetus that led to the formation of Before Racism™ and the foundation on which the work will proceed.

  1. Children are not born racist.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The content of Before Racism will be informed and shaped in consultation with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities with a particular focus on Anti-Blackness.