Child Care Aware of Washington applauds and celebrates Congress’s nearly unanimous approval of proclaiming Juneteenth a national holiday. Juneteenth marks an important date in our history that reminds us of our need individually, organizationally and as a country to pursue racial justice and equity, and to do so working alongside our Black brothers and sisters.
At Child Care Aware of Washington it is a particularly important reminder of our need to focus on children’s early experiences of racism. We are working to ensure that they spend their days in bias-free learning environments that support children’s racial identity development and demand an appreciation and space for all races and cultures to be present and celebrated.
Racism harms all children, and none worse than Black children. All of us at Child Care Aware of WA recognize this disturbing fact and are working to prevent that harm in our state’s child care and early learning system. We do this by interrupting racism in child care classrooms across the state by providing coaching, access to resources, training, early education that directly addresses racism in action and how to change teaching practices that support it.
When we start teaching children early about the value of all races, all cultures and all abilities we make progress against the generational racism and white supremacy that harms all children and especially children of color. We celebrate Juneteenth so our children can know the full truth of America’s history, as well as for the end of Black slavery. We celebrate Juneteenth to recognize and share the strengths, beauty and contributions of Black people throughout our history. And while we celebrate gains that chip away at racism, we remain comitted to the work of dismantling racist systems that harm Black communities, Black families and Black children. We stand with all who engage in this transformative work.
We encourage all families to recognize and talk with their children about the importance of Juneteenth. There are many great resources to help. Here are two:
’Every year we must remind successive generations that this event triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.’’ Al Edwards #Juneteenth