What We Do
"Life doesn't count for much unless you're willing to do your small part to leave our children - all of our children - a better world." - President Barack Obama, 2008
BCDI-Atlanta promotes the equitable distribution of quality across the birth to eight continuum and the connection between early childhood settings and elementary schools, by coordinating programs and training to increase the well-qualified, culturally & racially diverse workforce.
EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION
BCDI-Atlanta’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Social Justice Project
Lifted Voices is designed to make space for and amplify the voices of everyone within an organization. Lifted Voices assists programs in understanding the importance of having varied perspectives to increase diverse ideas to solve the complex problems of evolving and increasingly diverse communities. This program teaches strategies to enhance stronger engagement and to develop a culture of belonging. Leaders are trained and coached on how to affect policy and how to communicate feelings into actions. Lifted Voices helps programs to examine their organizational climate and behaviors that may currently support implicit or unconscious bias. Program staff are guided on how to lead their agency to a process that encourages fairness and actively creates an environment encouraging the contributions of all.
Lifted Voices is a multi-tiered approach that is designed to systematically address the programmatic needs of diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. This initiative is comprised of 3 tiers.
3 Program Tiers
Tier 1 includes virtual training for early care and learning staff through BCDI-Atlanta's Annual Culturally Responsive Early Education & Care Summit. This tier uses a strengths-based approach to train early educators and supporters on how to be more culturally responsive by learning about each child's strengths, abilities, experiences, and interests as developed within the child's family and culture.
Tier 2 is the Community level providing training on cultural responsiveness and inclusion. The Community Tier includes self-paced online training on strategies to improve personal goals (assist staff in self-awareness of culture, beliefs and personal values); workplace goals (foster a workplace of inclusion); and child/family goals (uplifting family voices and a commitment to equitable child outcomes), through professional development opportunities such as our monthly Leadership & Equity Advancement Network (LEAN) Gatherings and Culturally Responsive Literacy Course.
Tier 3 is our fellowship program offerings, including the Expand ECE Fellowship and Lifted Voices Fellowship. This tier supports 5-15 annual fellows, who will receive a year-long intensive training, coaching and mentoring program. Each fellow will complete an independent Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) project/campaign with a final presentation on how they will embed lessons learned in agency policies and procedures.
Expand ECE and Lifted Voices are made possible by generous funding from United Way of Greater Atlanta and its partners at the Joseph B. Whitehead Foundation with goals to increase the diversity of early childhood education leaders and provide ongoing leadership support for childcare program owners, center directors, and family/group childcare providers.