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.

Featured Program

Despite national attention on addressing racial injustices, which are especially pressing for Black children and families, improvements in Black children's and other minoritized children's health, well-being, and educational outcomes are still lacking. A consortium of experts who can use strengths-based data to shed light on the impact of historical and contemporary racism and inequities, and the differential impacts of programs, practices, and policies is needed. Iheoma Iruka, PhD, aims to address this through the Equity Research Action Coalition at FPG.

Featured Project

There is evidence that racial biases exist in early educators’ appraisals of Black children's behaviors, likely leading to the racial disparities found in teachers' office discipline referrals (ODRs) and student suspensions in elementary school. Postdoctoral Research Associate Kamilah Legette’s project, Teachers' Racialized Behavioral Appraisals: Exploring Emotion Regulation as a Mechanism to Reduce Racial Disparities in Discipline, examines the relationship between race and teachers' emotional responses to children's classroom behaviors.

Featured Publication

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with systemic racism, has changed the lives of Black families and children for the worse, which has implications for their well-being not only through this pandemic, but over their life course. Black Parent Voices: Resilience in the Face of the Two Pandemics—COVID-19 and Racism illustrates how the pandemic is affecting Black families' experiences with racism and discrimination, financial security/material hardship, physical and mental health, and early care and education options.

Current Projects

This project aims to have timely data about a significant policy bill slated to cut poverty by almost half, especially for families with young children. It will examine whether receiving direct payment is disproportionately benefiting Black and Latine families, economically and psychologically (e.g., perception of hardship). And will provide actionable information to ensure that the Black families with young children are protected, promoted, and prioritized in national, state, and local policies and strategies.
The purpose of this study is to examine associations between language of instruction, student engagement, academic-self-concept, approaches to learning, student-teacher relationships, and gains in academic outcomes for students attending dual language educational settings.
The purpose of this project as part of the Equity Research Action Coalition is to identify strengths-based programs and policies that support the well-being of Black parents and their infants and toddlers during the pandemic.
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 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 purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between implicit bias, teacher expectations, teacher–child interactions, and child outcomes. There are disparities in child discipline and development that can manifest early for poor and/or minority children and can have lasting consequences.
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 project is to conduct the year 1 evaluation of the ECIC Child Care Innovation Fund. Guided by a racial equity evaluation framework, the evaluation will determine how this fund influences policy changes to address racial disparities in wages and families' access to affordable, high-quality early care and education. This study will also examine facilitators and barriers to engaging in racial equity systems change.

Publications and Other Resources