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 three modules of 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).
Tier 3 is our Lifted Voices Fellowship program. This tier supports five 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.
Higher Education Support for Early Educators
Project SEED (Supporting Early Educators' Development) provides an innovative, fully funded teacher preparation experience for professionals interested in earning a Bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education/Birth-Five.
In partnership with Georgia State University, BCDI-Atlanta provides a culturally innovative approach to dismantling barriers to higher education and professional development to prepare students for culturally responsive care. BCDI-Atlanta provides both virtual and traditional professional development and conduct training to support ECE professionals in diverse instructional practices.