The ECFC strategic plan has a goal of increasing the effectiveness of philanthropic investment in early childhood through systemic, equity- focused approaches. The Steering Committee named racial equity as a priority area for 2019-2020, adopting this principle as a targeted learning-to-action issue.

The ECFC Racial Equity Workgroup is a small group of ECFC members with relevant experience established to lead this work with the Steering Committee.


Our working definition of racial equity focuses first on racialized outcome gaps, including analysis of their historical root causes, the explicit U.S. laws and policies that created and sustained those outcome gaps, and proactive strategies to dismantle structural racism and advance racial equity. While we start with race, a racial equity approach serves as the foundation for further understanding outcome gaps by gender, geography, wealth, ability, and other common inequities.

Goals for the ECFC

  • Create or curate a shared, accessible knowledge base about racial equity
    specific to early childhood and philanthropy.
  • Facilitate differentiated learning for ECFC members about foundational
    racial equity issues, particularly as they impact the work of early childhood
  • Build ECFC member skills around the practice of racial equity in
    philanthropy using accessible, practical tools to guide practice changes
    across breadth of work, including grantmaking, governance, human
    resources and other areas to be determined.
  • Develop and commit to a shared effort across the ECFC — something that
    no one organization could do alone and that is likely to create collective
    impact in early childhood philanthropy.


Our 2019/2020 framework for addressing racial equity includes three approaches launched at our Fall 2019 Member Meeting:


The ECFC Racial Equity Workgroup is co-chaired by ECFC members Kellie Brown, William Penn Foundation, and Ellen Roche, Trust for Learning, and includes ECFC members from William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund, Heising-Simons Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, J.B. & M.K. Pritzker Family Foundation, Bainum Family Foundation, W. Clement and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Irving Harris Foundation and the Foundation for Child Development.

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