ECFC Peer Sharing on Racial Equity

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On June 4, 2020 as part of our weekly COVID-19 peer sharing calls for EC funders, we hosted a peer sharing call on Racial Equity.  We appreciate so many funders engaging in an honest way about how racial injustices manifest in early childhood and about philanthropic practices that exacerbate disparities. 

Discussion Themes:

  • Some these from our discussion that warrant further exploration by early childhood funders:
  • How can we address the funding disparities in philanthropy that cause groups led by people of color to be so under-resourced compared to their white peers?
  • How do our definitions of evidence leave out the knowledge and experience  of Black people, indigenous people and other groups? How does a narrow  view compound the existing disparities in funding for grantees that are led by Black and Brown people? How does it keep us from identifying and funding models that would work well for different children, families, and communities?  
  • We need new models in ECE and other services that bring Black children’s actual lived experience in the community into our work.  Silence on racism and color blind approaches are not working.
  • We need to look at how to ensure cradle-to-college pathways by examining insidious ECE practices like disproportionality in discipline, exclusionary practices, and “adultification.” 
  • Along with funding more groups led by Black people, we should look toward community organizations, grassroots organizations, and others that have  not typically been funded by philanthropy.
  • We should use asset framing – the Black community has excelled against all odds and a backdrop of generations of racist policies.
  • How do we support the agency of the workforce – especially educators of color? How do we work with teachers, especially White teachers, to increase their competency in anti-racist practices? How do we deal with the racial inequities and pay gaps in the EC workforce, among many other things?
  • ECFC’s Racial Equity Workgroup will put forward plans for how we can move in our individual philanthropic organizations and collectively.  

Related Reading:

Resources shared on the call can form the basis of future provocative conversations:

If you would like to learn more about ECFC’s Racial Equity Workgroup, please connect with ECFC

Photo credit: ECFC Calendar

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