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Anti-Bias Anti-Racism

Pilot Year (June 2021 – June 2022)

Anti-Bias Anti-Racism Initiative for Early Childhood in the Ojai Valley
ABAR photo

The pilot year (June 2021-June 2022) of the Seeds of Belonging: Inclusive Early Childhood Spaces program was administered and funded by Secure Beginnings with support from the Ojai Women’s Fund, Board funding, and private donors. The initiative provided parents and teachers of children ages 0-5 with education and support to practice anti-bias and anti-racism at home and in the classroom.

Secure Beginnings has concluded its administrative leadership role in the Seeds of Belonging program in June 2022, with the end of our pilot year. Future programming will be co-directed by Narmeen Hashim and Lisa Griffiths who can be reached at [email protected].

Secure Beginnings thanks our school partners at Monica Ros, Oak Grove School, and A Place to Grow Preschool as well as all participants, donors, and supporters for helping to incubate this important work in our Valley. We look forward to participating in future Seeds of Belonging programming.

By focusing on the very young in our community at a time when their experiences shape their identity, how they see the world, how they develop empathy and treat others, and how they do or do not experience security, we can work towards a more just society. Between the ages of 2 and 5, children develop awareness of race, gender, ethnicity, class, and differing abilities. They also develop biases at this time of life.

This pilot program brought a coordinated approach to Anti-Bias Anti-Racism early childhood programming in our Valley, connecting experts, community, and curriculum. The innovative program supported educators and parents in parallel but separate programming for three engaging, interactive sessions which included a film screening with collective discussion, and two workshops with expert facilitator Monique Marshall. In the final session, parents and children participated together through music and art to learn how to be the change we wish to see in practice!