Before Racism™ posits that the next significant frontier in reducing racism in America is to reach and teach very young children at their very earliest stages of cognitive, language, and social-emotional development—at the first moments they start to notice and feel differences between themselves and others. It is at these times when they begin to sense and internalize racial identity and, by definition, the potential for racial bias.
There is significant research to suggest “that efforts to challenge negative attitudes and promote positive attitudes toward other racial groups need to begin early in a child’s life. Because teachers are important socialization agents, their behaviors and the curriculum they implement can play an important role in the formation of positive attitudes in children even in very early childhood” (Sutterby, 2015).
Such research frames the nature and scope of both the challenge and opportunity that exists: to help shape and deliver early childhood learning experiences that will have a lasting impact on children’s attitudes and behaviors toward others.
The Before Racism program will be piloted in 3-5 sites beginning in the first quarter of 2022. We need to raise an additional $300,000 in 2022 to support the program’s implementation and evaluation at these pilot sites throughout the year. Your contribution will help support the design and implementation of this comprehensive, integrated program aimed at preventing the development of racism in very young children. Please make a contribution today, and tell your friends, your coworkers, your neighbors, and anyone who may want to be part of a solution.
Donors who may choose other ways to give (donor-advised funds, employer matching sites, gifts of stock, or other means), please contact Bill Svrluga via email for any needed details. Before Racism is a 501(c)(3) organization; its Employer Identification Number (EIN) is 85-1813260.