NJAEYC Racial and Cultural Injustice Statement
NAEYC’s core values uphold the dignity and worth of each individual. As we identify in our Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education position statement, our goal is to nurture a more diverse and inclusive generation of young children who thrive through their experience of equitable learning opportunities in early learning programs. We aim for each child to “express comfort and joy with human diversity; to increasingly recognize injustice; and to have the will and the skills to act against prejudice.” We find ourselves pressing for the same for each adult in our nation today.
Our goals cannot be achieved without recognizing and dismantling the systems of bias that provide privilege to some and are unjust to others. That means committing —individually and collectively, again and again—to reflect and grapple with the racism in ourselves, our organizations, and our society. NAEYC continues to work towards advancing equity with humility and awareness of our history and limitations, and a recognition that no individual, leader or organization has all the answers. At the same time, we each have a role to play—as early childhood educators, administrators, faculty, students, advocates, and parents. We are each in a position where we can act and address the trauma our children are experiencing at the hands of racism apparent in the Coronavirus’ disproportionate impacts, the police response to protests, the weaponizing of white privilege in our parks and streets, and the death of George Floyd.
The New Jersey affiliate echoes the above statement from NAEYC. NJAEYC commits to building an anti-bias workforce by creating opportunities for early childhood professionals that break down implicit bias and move the needle of racial and cultural injustices in New Jersey. Our collective voices must be heard throughout New Jersey so we can begin to make a difference. We welcome your participation as a member of the Equity and Diversity Committee as we build a community of engaged educators, parents, community stakeholders and allies.