Professional Resource

Celebrating Black History Month

Celebrate Black History month with a curated collection of diversity and equity resources.

Our mission at ZERO TO THREE is to ensure all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life. We envision a society that has the knowledge and will to support all infants and toddlers in reaching their full potential, regardless of race or national origin.

“As an organization we support the clinicians, educators, care providers…all the professionals, who are on the frontlines of care. They are also on the frontline for social and economic justice. And we must support them in that cause as well,” said ZERO TO THREE Executive Director, Matthew Melmed.

In honor of our Black children and the adults who support them, ZERO TO THREE has curated a collection of resources below promoting equity and antiracism, with complementary access to selected webinar recordings and Journal Articles through February.

Virtual Event: Honoring Black Excellence 2021 and 2022

Black Excellence in the Field of Early Childhood Education

Recorded: Feb. 24, 2022

In honor of Black History Month, ZERO TO THREE hosted a special panel interview to showcase Black Excellence in the Field of Early Childhood Education – highlighting professional field practices with children across the age range of birth to five. Learn from these exemplary panelists as they share their stories, exploring why they do the work they do with children and families, calling attention to the intersection of ethnic identity, access to services, and fostering spaces of belonging. The panelists answered several questions asked by the panel host, Lisa Wilson. As the Director of Equity & Outreach, Lisa oversees the development and implementation of equitable practices within the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning (NC ECDTL). Join us on February 24th as we celebrate Black Excellence. This event included pre-recorded and live components.

Continuing Conversations on Race and Equity: Honoring Black Excellence and the Commitment to Racial Consciousness

Lisa M. Wilson, M.Ed. Director of Equity & Outreach

Recorded: Feb. 18, 2021

The National Center on Early Childhood Development Teaching, and Learning (DTL) honors and values black excellence by celebrating Black History Month and integrating Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging into policies and practices. DTL has a Director of Equity & Outreach to ensure equitable practices and mindfulness are being implemented into every area of the National Center’s work from social media messaging, content delivery, and content creation for professional learning opportunities.

The webinar showcased the beauty of Black Excellence and the importance of celebrating and honoring Black Excellence within an organization. Through honoring Black excellence, an organization will create/nurture a space of belonging and inclusiveness to create diversity and equity in recruiting diverse talents, democratic hiring practices, overall language about racial consciousness, and a commitment to continued growth and development through professional development learning opportunities.

Journal Articles

Parenting African American Children in the Context of Racism, MARCH 2015 VOL 35 NO 4

Angela W. Keyes, Anna T. Smyke, Melissa Middleton, and Corey L. Black

There has been a growing recognition of the importance of culture as the U.S. has become an increasingly diverse society, and due to the growing recognition that research on child development has largely reflected Western ideals and requires a broader approach to account for cultural variation. The articles in this issue examine such topics as the effect of cultural variations in infant/toddler group care, how to effectively educate ethnically diverse children, the impact of trauma on parenting and child development in the context of immigration, and the history of racism on African American culture and parenting.

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Cross-Sector Allies Together in the Struggle for Social Justice: Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work With Infants, Children, and Families, JAN 2019 VOL 39 NO 3

Kandace Thomas, Irving Harris Foundation, Chicago, Illinois; Carmen Rosa Noroña, Child Witness to Violence Project, Early Trauma Treatment Network, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; and Maria Seymour St. John, University of California San Francisco Infant–Parent Program, San Francisco, California

The Tenets were born of a recognition that social forces conspire to interfere with the capacity of some groups of children and families to thrive. The Tenets are a response to the persistent and urgent need to expand our professional capacity and deepen our work with families by increasing awareness and developing intentional action for individual, organizational, and systemic change. This article presents a revised and expanded edition of the Tenets. The authors introduce a new name—Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work With Infants, Children, and Families—and describe the productive struggles, deepened understandings, sustaining alliances, and critical insights that brought this edition into being.

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Building Equity in the Birth-to-3 System: Who Is in the Room? MARCH 2016 VOL 36 NO 4

Wendy Harris, Benita Rodriguez Horn, Susan Tripp, and Barbara Yasui

The earliest years of life are a time of tremendous growth and opportunity, and early experiences have lasting effects on future development. Thus, high-quality services must be a priority for programs and professionals serving families with infants and toddlers. This issue of ZERO TO THREE explores a variety of innovative approaches to quality improvement. The articles focus on efforts to: improve the capacity of home visitors to address maternal depression, increase cultural competency and equity in the early intervention system, evaluate the effectiveness of family child care networks that have the potential for improving family child care quality, and create competency standards in early care and education programs.

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Race, Equity, Bias, and Early Childhood: Examining the Research


Ross A. Thompson, University of California; Andrew N. Meltzoff, University of Washington; and Walter S. Gilliam, Yale University

In this article, Dr. Andrew Meltzoff describes his research concerning the ways that young children pick up bias from everyday experience, and Dr. Walter Gilliam discusses racial bias exhibited by early childhood educators. Dr. Brenda Jones Harden, who discussed maternal experiences of racial discrimination and its impact on mothers’ functioning and parenting of their young children, expands on her research in the article, “Racial Discrimination and Parenting: Implications for Intervening With African American Young Children and Families” (Scott et al., this issue, p. 18). Dr. Ross Thompson, board member and past president of ZERO TO THREE, introduced the session.

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The ABCs of Diversity and Inclusion: Developing an Inclusive Environment for Diverse Families in Early Childhood Education

JANUARY 2019 VOL 39 NO 3

Reihonna L. Frost and Abbie E. Goldberg, Clark University

Early childhood education is a time when children and their parents are learning about their roles in a school. This makes early childhood education a crucial time for developing strong parent–school relationships with diverse families including LGBTQ parents, adoptive families, and multiracial families. This article gives specific, concrete suggestions about how to build and maintain a welcoming, representative, and inclusive environment for diverse families in schools.

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Dis/ability Critical Race Studies (DisCrit) for Inclusion in Early Childhood Education: Ethical Considerations of Implicit and Explicit Bias

JANUARY 2020 VOL 40 NO 1

Alissa Rausch, Jaclyn Joseph, and Elizabeth Steed

This article explores the ethical obligation of those in the early care and education field to deconstruct ableism (and other–isms, such as racism, sexism, classism) and to reconstruct an understanding of social identity that is strengths-based and affirming. The authors describe the Dis/ability Studies and Critical Race Theory (DisCrit) framework of understanding ableism and provide examples of potential solutions for early childhood providers to explore the role of bias in inclusion practices and deconstruct dis/ability to enact systemic change for young children with dis/abilities and their families.

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Recorded Webinars & Virtual Events

ZERO TO THREE and Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC): Resources for Racial Justice

featuring Antonio Freitas, Senior Content Manager Sesame Workshop and Lisa Wilson, Director of Equity and Outreach, ZERO TO THREE, National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching, and Learning (DTL)

Continuing the Dialogue: Infants and Toddlers Face Racism Too

Guided conversation with Sarah LeMoine, MS and Maria Spriggs, MPH, ZERO TO THREE

Part II

State of Babies Yearbook 2021: Introduction and Key Data Findings

Professional & Parenting Resources

Parenting for Social Justice

Parents wonder how to raise children who will stand up against racism and injustice. We begin that conversation here.

Promoting Racial Equity in Early Childhood

These resources offer insight and guidance on racial justice and equity issues in early childhood. Together, we will make a better world for our babies — a world in which every baby is valued and loved.

Racism and Violence: Using Your Power as a Parent to Support Children Aged Two to Five

This resource provides thoughts and guidelines for talking about the complex issues of racism and equality in age-appropriate ways with children aged two to five years of age.

Using Stories to Nurture Identity

What do young children understand about their identity? How can parents help them construct a positive self-identity? Read on for tips and tools.

Baby Brain Builders: Tools and Tips for Families

The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has partnered with ZERO TO THREE to promote the Think Babies campaign, ensuring that Black infants and their families have the tools and skills needed for them to thrive from birth.

Policy Resources

State of Babies Yearbook: 2021

The State of Babies Yearbook: 2021 compares national and state-by-state data on the well-being of infants and toddlers. To create a brighter future for all, we must implement policies based on science and budgets that make babies a priority.

Building Strong Foundations: Racial Inequity in Policies that Impact Infants, Toddlers, and Families

This brief by ZERO TO THREE and the Center for Law and Social Policy explores racial disparities, and the policies that drive them, among infants, toddlers, and their families.

In Pursuit of an Equitable Start

Leveraging and expanding public funding to support a more equitable recovery for young children, families and child care workers.

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