The mission of the California Kindergarten Association is to foster children’s early learning and development by promoting best practices and professionalism in teaching and advocating for high quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood education. In order to achieve this mission, we must be actively anti-racist. We know that teachers are essential workers in the fight against racism, and we believe that early childhood educators are the first line of defense.
We, as leaders in the early childhood education field, want to clearly state that we stand with Black Lives Matter. To our members, colleagues, friends, students, brothers and sisters who identify as Black, we want you to know that we stand with you in the fight against institutionalized racism. We believe that Black lives matter; they matter today, they mattered yesterday and they will matter tomorrow.
We know that representation matters, especially to those that are underrepresented. When we are taking on new board members, we actively search out leaders in our field who are dedicated to our mission, which includes social justice and anti-racism education. We know that an organization is only as strong as its leadership and we are dedicated to having a diverse board of dynamic leaders in the field of early childhood education. For our yearly conference, we aim to uplift underrepresented voices. We realize that our speaker lineup in the past hasn’t been as diverse as it could be and that we should have been more aware of the power of representation. We are working to know better and be better. This year, even if we have to hold a virtual conference instead of a live one, we are working on hiring speakers from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds.
We are constantly looking to feature new speakers. We always listen to suggestions for speakers from our members and followers. We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions for dynamic early childhood educators who are POC, so we can reach out to them and discuss presenting. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with any speaker suggestions you may have.
We are aware of the inequities that result from institutionally racist policies and practices in the schools and the communities in which our members teach. We pledge to take actions that will create change on all levels. We will do this by:
- supporting bills and laws meant to create a more just system and especially ones that address equality and equity in the education realm
- by uplifting underrepresented voices, specifically by searching out speakers from diverse backgrounds
- by offering presentations and trainings for teachers to elicit positive change within their own classrooms
- and by sharing information on combating the implicit bias that exists within everyone
If you’d like to learn more about BLM and equity in the classroom, please take a look at the following links:
NEA – Black Lives Matter in Schools (Resources)
Black Lives Matter at School Starter Kit
Creating Space to Talk about Race in Your School
DC Area Educators for Social Justice – Early Childhood and Elementary Resources
Teaching Tolerance – Let’s Talk! Discussing Race, Racism and Other Difficult Topics With Students
We stand with our members of color and we stand with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The CKA Board of Directors