In Pursuit of Equity - A Webinar Series from Division for Early Childhood and Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
The In Pursuit of Equity series is now archived and available to watch on demand!

In this webinar series, DEC and ECTA host various experts in the field of early childhood special education and early intervention in disrupting the pervasive inequities of our systems. Topics include troubling notions of "at risk," challenging biases about families in home based services, suspension and expulsion in early childhood settings, counteracting racism and ableism in early childhood systems, and engaging in systems change in pursuit of equity.  

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Archived Webinars

In Pursuit of Equity in Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education  

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 4:30 - 6:00 PM Eastern Time 

Presented by Sheresa Boone Blanchard, PhD, and Jen Newton, PhD, chairs of the DEC Inclusion, Equity and Social Justice Committee

Sheresa Boone Blanchard, Ph.D. is an associate professor at East Carolina University in the department of Human Development and Family Science. She primarily teaches courses in the birth through kindergarten teacher education program, a blended licensure area in North Carolina. Her research and teaching focus on family/community engagement, inclusion, families of color, assessment, and improving teacher preparation competencies through lenses of intersectionality, equity, and social justice. Her scholarly interests emerged from over 20 years of experience as a teacher, practitioner and consultant in early childhood, special education, and early intervention. Dr. Blanchard currently serves as co-chair of the Division for Early Childhood’s Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Committee and serves as a commissioner for the North Carolina Child Care Commission as well as other state and local level initiatives and boards. 


Jen Newton, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at OHIO University. Dr. Newton's research interests include strengths-based approaches to families, early childhood inclusion, and inclusive teacher preparation through a lens of anti-ableism and anti-racism. She served as an early interventionist and an inclusive prekindergarten teacher prior to pursuing doctoral studies. Dr. Newton earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Kansas and spent four years as an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., then three years at Saint Louis University before finding her home at Ohio University.  Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @teachingisintellectual.  

The History of Inequities and Its Impact on Young Children 

Monday, May 24th, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Presented by Gloria Neal 

Session Description: You may have heard of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), but what about racial, historical, and generational trauma? This workshop will take you through history to better understand racial inequity and its impact on today's families.
 

About Gloria Neal

From being a tv news anchor and reporter, radio reporter on News radio 850 KOA, a women’s health podcast host, to a radio talk show host, as well as a columnist and now to being a Director of Public Affairs with the Mayor’s office, Gloria Neal’s versatility keeps her very busy all across the country. 

 

With over 30 years of combined experience working with city government, nonprofits and private sector organizations, Gloria brings her passion and problem-solving skills to everything she touches. And it is that drive which enables her to be successful in traditional and non-traditional environments.

 

Gloria is a strong believer in community involvement and in serving the community. She has been heavily involved in mentoring, philanthropic and community driven causes not only in Denver, but also in other cities across the country. 


Currently, Gloria Neal is the Director of Public Affairs for Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. 

Bias, Race, and Microaggressions in Early Childhood

Monday, June 7th, 2021, 12:00 - 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Presented by Dr. Rosemarie Allen 

Session Description: ​​This training will engage participants in discussions related to key social justice and equity issues impacting how we lead, serve, and interact within ECSE programs. Implicit bias, color-blind, and culture-blind ideology will be discussed as barriers to addressing racial equity in ECSE. Microaggressions will be examined and practical strategies for how to respond to microaggressions will be presented. 

About Dr. Rosemarie Allen

Rosemarie Allen has served as a leader in early childhood education for nearly 40 years. Her life's work is centered on ensuring children have access to high-quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her classes are focused on ensuring teachers are aware of how issues of equity, privilege, and power impact teaching practices. Rosemarie has served in directorship roles with the Colorado Department of Human Services where she was responsible for the State’s child care licensing program, the federal child care assistance program, the redesign of the State’s quality rating and improvement system, the implementation of the State’s professional development plan, and assisted in the creation of Colorado’s early learning guidelines.  Rosemarie is a respected keynote speaker and has the distinct honor of being appointed as a “Global Leader” to represent the United States at World Conferences across the globe. 


Dr. Allen’s non-profit Institute for Racial Equity & Excellence (IREE) serves as the lead agency for ensuring equity in educational practices throughout the nation. IREE monitors and licenses child care centers using a model she created, “Culturally Responsive Community-Based Licensing”. Rosemarie also served on President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) initiative, Early Childhood Task Force. In that role, she was the national expert on implicit bias and culturally responsive practices, speaking at conferences across the country. She also serves as a contractor for the National Center for Pyramid Model Innovations focusing on equity, implicit bias, and culturally responsive practices in the Pyramid Model for Supporting Social Emotional Competence in Infants and Young Children. 


Rosemarie earned her B. A. from California State University, Master’s of Education from Lesley University, and a Doctorate Degree in Leadership for Equity in Education from the University of Colorado, Denver. 

The ABCs of Anti Racist Early Intervention 

Friday, July 23rd 2021, 12:00 - 1:30 PM Eastern Time

Presented by Jen Newton, PhD; Mira Williams, PhD

Dr. Jen Newton is an assistant professor at OHIO University. Dr. Newton's research interests include strengths-based approaches to families, early childhood inclusion, and inclusive teacher preparation through a lens of anti-ableism and anti-racism. She served as an early interventionist and an inclusive prekindergarten teacher prior to pursuing doctoral studies. Dr. Newton earned her doctorate in special education from the University of Kansas and spent four years as an assistant professor at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., then three years at Saint Louis University before finding her home at Ohio University.  Follow her on Instagram and Facebook @teachingisintellectual.  

Dr. Mira Williams is an Associate Professor in the Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities Department at James Madison University. Dr. Williams earned a doctoral degree in Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education from the University of Virginia. She also received her Master’s of Teaching and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Dr. Williams taught for six years in inclusive early childhood preschool and elementary classrooms in Virginia. In addition, she served as an educational specialist, consulting with teachers and families of children with disabilities, focusing on differentiating instruction and providing curricular access to all children. She is a strong advocate of high-quality teacher preparation in the area of Early Childhood Inclusive and Special Education and is focused on social justice and equity for young children and their families. She presents locally and nationally on a range of topics related to improving teacher preparation, inclusive practices in early childhood education, and disrupting microaggressions in P-16 educational settings.

Uncovering and Resisting Racism and Ableism in Early Childhood  

Wednesday, August 4th, 2021, 4:30 - 6:00 PM Eastern Time

Presented by Hailey Love, PhD; Maggie Beneke, PhD 

Dr. Hailey Love is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She earned her PhD in Special Education, with a focus on early childhood, from the University of Kansas in 2018. Through her scholarship, Dr. Love aims to advance justice-driven inclusive education for young children with disabilities, particularly multiply-marginalized children with disabilities. Her research includes projects on inclusive and culturally-sustaining practices, teacher preparation and professional development, and family-professional partnerships with families of Color. Dr. Love also examines applications of mixed methods inquiry within early childhood and special education research. 

Dr. Maggie Beneke is an Assistant Professor of Education in the College of Education at the University of Washington. Professor Beneke’s research focuses on re-thinking inclusive, equitable education for children and families from historically marginalized backgrounds. Her work is premised on a view of inclusive education as a social movement in response to the exclusion of children viewed as different (e.g., children with disabilities, children of color) in comparison to an often unspoken status quo (e.g., able-bodied, white). Through critical analysis of the local processes and consequences of identity construction, Professor Beneke highlights and supports early childhood practitioners’ inclusive practices while transforming deficit discourses surrounding young children’s identities and competencies. 

Continuing to Pursue Equity in EI/ECSE: Considerations and Next Steps 

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021, 3:00 - 4:30 PM Eastern Time

Presented by Sheresa Boone Blanchard, PhD; Courtney O’Grady, MEd; Dorothy Shapland, EdD; Jen Newton, PhD