Goodness! I really love books. Above are some great children’s books. And here’s a list of my top 7 recommended books for grown ups on early childhood social justice work:
- Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards. This is a very good place to start. I read this book at least once a year. It’s written in an accessible way, with lots of reflection questions and stories woven throughout. At the same time, it doesn’t water anything down. It presents a strong critical lens for early childhood pedagogy. Keep your eyes peeled for a revised edition with an updated gender chapter in the near future!
- Rethinking Early Childhood Education edited by Ann Pelo. This is the book that really got me thinking about how my social justice self and my early childhood educator self could come together. That there was room in early childhood for conversations (and action!) addressing issues of power, privilege, and oppression.
- Beyond Heroes and Holidays: A Practical Guide to K-12 Anti-Racist, Multicultural Education and Staff Development edited by Enid Lee, Deborah Menkart and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Lots of really helpful essays, especially ones that break down the difference between “tolerance” and “transformation” work.
- Courageous Leadership in Early Childhood Education: Taking a Stand for Social Justice edited by Susi Long, Mariana Souto-Manning, and Vivian Maria Vasquez. Another world is possible! This work can be done! This book is full of stories from regular folks like me and you who have chosen to lead courageously.
- What If All the Kids Are White? Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families by Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia G. Ramsey. This one builds off of their previous work, digging deeper into the ways that whiteness shows up in early childhood programs.
- Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change by Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie LeeKeenan and John Nimmo. This one’s essential reading for early childhood program leaders (center directors, instructional coordinators, coaches, etc.). It builds on previous work by really unpacking what it looks like to lead an entire program through an anti-bias journey.
- “Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations about Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum. Essential reading on racial identity development and young children.
There are so many great articles! Recently, I’ve been using these ones quite regularly:
- Racial Justice as a Core Practice of ECE by Margie Carter, Ijumma Jordan, and Kelly Matthews
- The Goals of Anti-bias Education Clearing Up Some Key Misconceptions by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards
- Becoming Upended Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families by Kirsten Cole and Diandra Verwayne
- (Re)Centering Quality in Early Childhood Education: Toward Intersectional Justice for Minoritized Children by Mariana Souto-Manning Ayesha Rabadi-Raol
- What If All the Children in My Class Are White? Historical and Research Background by Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia G. Ramsey
- Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn Race by Erin Winkler
Training & Coaching
Looking for an anti-bias or anti-racism consultant to support your early childhood program? You’re in luck! I’ve got friends all over the country who do incredible work. And our network is continually growing.
- For folks on the West Coast, I highly recommend reaching out to Ijumaa Jordan.
- For folks in the Midwest, check out Alissa Mwenelupembe.
- And for folks in the South, Border Crossers has a Dallas site led by the incredible Bianca Anderson. More info here.
- And if we’re all busy, the Early Childhood Education Assembly has compiled a ton of resources to help you get started in addition to this Anti-Racism Educational Consultants Network.
There’s also this great list of People of Color who provide PD that was compiled by Dr. Kim Parker and Julia E. Torres. For folks who just really cannot afford to bring anybody in right now, but are eager to dig into the work, my friend Pippi Kessler created this free social justice education self-study curriculum.
- Teaching Tolerance
- Rethinking Schools
- Teaching for Change
- NAEYC’s Diversity & Equity Interest Forum
- Raising Race Conscious Children
- The Human Root
- and many many more…