Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

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Nationwide, children of diverse racial, ethnic, cultural, socioeconomic, and linguistic backgrounds are too often viewed as challenging, "at-risk," and of limited intellectual capacity. Wide disparities in achievement bear witness to the ways in which the educational and social systems have failed those most in need of support. Historic discrimination coupled with changing demographics necessitates clear and intentional efforts to support young children who are racially and ethnically diverse in achieving their personal, academic, and economic potential. A primary mission of FPG is to generate knowledge about the social context in which children of color live, establish programs that produce positive outcomes for those children and their families, and use that knowledge to prepare caregivers and teachers to provide the best possible environments for promoting development and success. Equity, diversity, and inclusion matters at the Institute.

Featured Publication

A robust research base indicates the importance of high-quality early care and education in relation to a host of long-term health, education, and employment outcomes. However, definitions of “quality” often lack attention to equity and to the unique experiences that disproportionately affect children from historically marginalized communities. FPG’s Iheoma Iruka, PhD, contributed to a report that addresses this fundamental content flaw in quality rating and improvement systems by operationalizing equity indicators.

Featured Program

The Equity Research Action Coalition works with practitioners and policymakers to co-construct actionable research to support the optimal development of Black children using a cultural wealth framework. The coalition focuses on developing a science-based action framework to eradicate the impact of racism and poverty and all its consequences on the lives of Black children, families, and communities, and to ensure optimal health, well-being, school readiness and success, and overall excellence.

Featured Publication

Autism intervention researchers often do not report the race and ethnicity of study participants. When data is reported, there is a lack of representation across historically minoritized racial and ethnic groups. Underrepresenting participants from these groups contributes to systemic inequities in autism diagnoses and outcomes. A study led by UNC Department of Allied Health Sciences Assistant Professor and FPG Faculty Fellow Jessica Steinbrenner, PhD, published findings about these inequities in January of 2022.

Current Projects

This project will develop an African-centered, culturally responsive practice guide with specific strategies, exemplars, and materials with connected professional learning modules to guide effective implementation. The ultimate and long-term goal is to increase Black children’s social, cognitive, and emotional skills (e.g., racial identity, engagement, learning motivation, regulation), leading to strong academic and social competence and school success.
Through collaboration with national, state and local coalitions and organizations, the Equity Research Action Coalition will identify, track and align strategies to strengthen the focus on protecting, promoting, and preserving the well being, health, wealth, access and experiences of Black families and their families through anti-racist and cultural wealth policy making framework and communication.
This multi-year project, in partnership with Erikson Institute and the University of Delaware, seeks to understand how best to value, compensate, and authentically integrate the family child care (FCC) workforce and approach in future efforts to build and expand more equitable PreK systems. This project will involve focus groups, surveys, and case studies to understand how FCC is being integrated into PreK efforts.
This model demonstration seeks to increase family uptake of developmental screenings and service enrollment of traditionally underserved populations by centering family and cultural voice throughout the implementation process.
The purpose of this project is to engage with grassroots and grasstops early education partners to identify and conduct a landscape analysis of active North Carolina policies and regulations focused on young children and their families (birth to age 5) with a focus on policies that show effect or promise in mitigating (or exacerbate) racial disparities in early care and education.
The goal of this series of studies is to develop recommendations that could be used to inform the next revisions of the ECERS-3, a global early care and education quality measure for children aged 3-5 that examines quality from the child's perspective.
The purpose of this project is to conduct a pilot study examining the impact of Family Engagement Specialists' beliefs and attitudes (e.g., bias) on their engagement with families.
The Equity Research Action Coalition will co-construct with practitioners and policymakers actionable research to support the optimal development of Black children prenatally through childhood across the African diaspora using a cultural wealth framework. The coalition will focus on developing a science-based action framework to eradicate the impact of racism and poverty and all its consequences on the lives of Black children, families, and communities, and to ensure optimal health, well-being, school readiness and success, and overall excellence.
The goal of this project is to support the development of an interdisciplinary, multi-organizational research action coalition to identify anti-racist, culturally-sustaining, and asset-focused factors that ensure that Black children, their families, and communities thrive. Specific to this project is the development of a national repository/clearinghouse that provides up to date information on actionable research, practice, and policy evidence about what matters and works for Black children.
The purpose of this evaluation project is to examine whether the provision of resources and supports to spur regional and community innovation projects to develop new business and financing models will ensure the ECE workforce is equitably compensated, well-trained, and valued, and ECE businesses are thriving, and subsequently leading to equitable, affordable, and accessible high-quality early learning experiences for young children and their families. This study will also examine facilitators and barriers to engaging in systems change in child care grounded in racial equity.
The purpose of this collaboration with Boston University is to develop and disseminate various products focused on the effects of racism during infancy through early childhood (birth to age 5) for racially marginalized children and families, specifically those that are Black, Latine, Indigenous, or Asian.