DEC strives to create an inclusive environment for all individuals. One way to do this is to advocate for socially just policies and practices. The Inclusion, Equity & Social Justice Committee (IESJ) has been created to ensure that all early childhood special education professionals, families, and children from diverse identities, backgrounds, lifestyles, values, and beliefs are included in the events, policies, and practices put forth by DEC. The IESJ Committee serves the purpose of providing strategic direction and proposed recommendations for DEC’s policies, practices, and events to be more inclusive. The IESJ Committee functions as a necessary and significant arm of DEC’s social justice advocacy effort by working collaboratively with all areas of DEC and the CEC Diversity Council.


Please contact Sheresa Blanchard, blanchardsh@ecu.edu, DEC's Inclusion, Equity & Social Justice chair, for more information or to get involved.


(a)  promote awareness of the need for equitable practices that value all children, families and practitioners with differences in race, ethnicity, culture, language, religion, education, income, family configuration, geographic location, ability, and other characteristics that contribute to human uniqueness

(i) To increase awareness of policy initiatives

(ii) To serve as a mechanism connecting research with practitioners in the field and; awareness of others doing the work to scale up

(iii) To have an avenue for students to connect with and participate in the work (online symposium; online conversations)

(b)  advocate for culturally relevant research that reflects all children, families and practitioners to ensure their voices are heard

(i) To extend from hearing “their voices” to incorporating “their voices” for the goal of improving practice


Serra Acar
Sadia Batool
Ruby Batz
Sheresa Blanchard (Co-Chair)
Robyn DiPietro-Wells
Lillian Durán
Mariana Mereoiu
Jen Newton (Co-Chair) 
Courtney O’Grady
LaShorage Shaffer
Amy Szarkowski
Megan Vinh
Mira Williams
Anna Winneker

Please contact Sheresa Blanchard, blanchardsh@ecu.edu, or Jen Newton, newtonj@ohio.edu, DEC's Inclusion, Equity & Social Justice co-chairs, for more information or to get involved.

Inclusion, Equity, and Social Justice Committee