My message is really that racism has no place in the hearts and minds
of our children.
Key Components of the Before Racism™ Program:
Before Racism will be delivered to preschools and childcare centers via a combination of resources available through online learning, print material, and in-person training. A vibrant and engaging web-based instruction program will be the foundation of the program to provide opportunities for all key participants – teachers, childcare professionals, Before Racism facilitators/coaches, and parents – to discuss and learn from each other.
All materials and activities will be designed for two specific age groups acknowledging their differences in cognitive, social-emotional, and language development: (1) children ages 1–2 years and (2) children ages 3–5 years.
Two foundational strategies will form the core pedagogy of the program: (1) creating a physical classroom environment that supports and encourages the development of anti-bias and anti-racist attitudes and behaviors and (2) emphasizing experiential learning in delivering the program to children.
There are four groups who will be active participants in the Before Racism program:
- Children ages 1–5 years attending preschools or licensed childcare centers
- Preschool teachers and childcare center providers who will support the Before Racism program on a day-to-day basis
- Before Racism facilitators/coaches who will train teachers and childcare professionals on the content of the program and facilitate group and individual discussions as needed
- Parents of young children attending preschools or childcare centers
Early childhood education and developmentally-appropriate practices will inform both the design and delivery of the Before Racism program. Chief among these practices are: the importance and use of play in a very young child’s education; one-on-one and small group conversations with children; storytelling and story-acting; multisensory and multimedia experiences; children’s own artwork; and the inclusion of elements common to each child’s culture including music, food, and clothing.
Program design will also include recommendations regarding how best to establish an environment in which to deliver these practices—an environment that is safe, open, interactive, consistent, exploratory, and developmentally appropriate—one which fosters a strong sense of self-worth and supports a sense of belonging.
In all cases, the goal of the Before Racism program is to identify methods to easily incorporate it into existing teaching and childcare practices by utilizing professionals’ own experiences and expertise.