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

There is an emerging body of literature that draws attention to the impact of racism and different racialized experiences on the lives of racially and ethnically minoritized children. Iheoma Iruka, PhD, recently published a review that highlights how racism impacts racially and ethnically minoritized children's healthy development and learning.

Featured Program

Working with practitioners and policymakers, the Equity Research Action Coalition will pursue research that promotes and supports the healthy development of Black children across the African diaspora and other children of color. The Coalition will focus on developing science-based evidence that can be used to inform practice and policy aimed at eradicating the impact of racism, and all its consequences, on the lives of Black and other minoritized children, families, and communities.

Featured Person

FPG Faculty Fellow and Founding Director of FPG's Equity Research Action Coalition, Iheoma Iruka, PhD, is leading projects and initiatives focused on ensuring that minoritized children and children from low-income households, especially Black children, are thriving. Her work is focused on ensuring excellence for young diverse learners, especially Black children and their families, through the intersection of anti-bias, anti-racist, culturally grounded research, programs, and policies.

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 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.
The pilot study presented in this proposal is a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The intended outcomes of this program are to positively impact inclusion in early childhood classrooms and kindergarten readiness for children with disabilities. Consisting of a 5 day, in-person, professional development (PD) opportunity and Networked Improvement Community (NIC) meetings that are targeted to meet the individual needs of the participants, we propose a three-phase process. Phase 1 includes targeted observations of inclusive STEM practices. Phase 2 includes a 5-day PD opportunity, planned and facilitated by UMBC and STEMIE. PD sessions will be designed to foster the participants’ engagement in inclusive STEM teaching. Phase 2 sessions will be developed based on observed needs of the participating teachers and support participants in using STEMIE resources (e.g. learning trajectories) within the scope of their own curriculum. A series of NIC meetings will be held focusing on areas of need identified by the participants to allow for collaborative problem solving with investigators serving as facilitators. The final phase (Phase 3) will include targeted observations of participants to assess progress.
TRI will design a series of six parent workshops to build foundational literacy skills for children aged six months to five years. These workshops will be presented by community workers from El Centro Hispano. TRI will provide training for the community workers and will compile materials including books in Spanish and other educational resources (magnetic letters, activity cards) for parents to use.
As part of this developmental evaluation, Phase 2 of this project will focus on: (a) evaluating the joint development of curriculum materials/resources; (b) drafting short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes for intended stakeholder groups (parent educators, parents, children); (c) developing an implementation plan to pilot the full implementation; and (d) designing measures to evaluate the development of curriculum materials/resources, understand the content being developed, and gather insights from users to design evaluation in Phase 3.
Research team will consult with Wake County Smart Start (WCSS) to support a WCSS-led participatory research project that will lead to the development of WCSS strategic plan community driven outcomes. Following with their strategic plan priorities of equity, family engagement and leadership and data informed decision making, WCSS would like to develop community driven outcomes through a participatory research project. The project will collaborate and share power with families and community members in the development of outcomes that measure WCSS’ success in meeting their strategic plan goals. The project will be co-designed, co-facilitated and collaboratively analyzed and disseminated by community and family co-investigators.
The goal of this project is to identify opportunities and barriers to community based organizations, namely civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, The Leadership Conference, the National Urban League, NALEO Education Fund, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), National Congress of American Indian (NCAI) in prioritizing early childhood development including access to high quality and affordable child care.