What We Do
"Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be." - Kahlil Gibran
BCDI-Atlanta advances the quality of life for Black children, families, and communities by connecting programs, policy, and advocacy, through the engagement of members and the broader community in activities designed to address local and state civic matters affecting Black children and families in Georgia.
Black Children Count
BCDI-Atlanta's Public Policy and Advocacy Initiative
Through BCDI-Atlanta's Black Children Count initiative, we support families, childcare programs, schools and communities by coordinating civic engagement efforts to ensure the needs of Black children and their families are met at both local and state levels.
We partner with organizations, such as Fair Count, Georgia Early Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, and the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus - just to name a few, to recommend and execute policies on behalf of children, parents, and early educators.
There are only three questions that drive our public policy agenda:
Is this good for Black children and families?
If yes, how can we support it?
If not, how can we make it better?
The answers to these questions help us achieve our mission of improving and advancing the quality of life for Black children and families.
Delivering on the Promise - Georgia
Exclusionary discipline has no place in learning environments and such educational disparities not only set Black children up for failure, but for the "preschool-to-prison" pipeline. To address this systemic issue, in 2017, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) announced a partnership with the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to launch a national campaign to end the "preschool-to-prison" pipeline.
The "Delivering on the Promise" Initiative is designed to ensure that Black children truly benefit from early childhood education (ECE) programs by:
promoting inclusive early learning environments; and
ending harsh disciplinary practices that exclude them.
Today, more than 250 preschoolers are suspended or expelled per day. Black preschoolers are nearly four times more likely to receive one or more suspensions than white preschoolers. This is tragic and intolerable.
In partnership with NBCDI, the Council on Black Health, 100 Black Men, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and Drexel, BCDI-Atlanta supports practitioners and advocates seeking to eliminate suspensions and expulsions and implement positive discipline practices to ensure that young Black children have access to early learning settings that are supportive and affirming. Through this partnership, Senate Bill 106 was presented during the 2021 Georgia Legislative Session. We are continuing our work to faciliate awareness and education on wraparound services necessary for educators and administrators to better support Black children in preschool through third grade.
Year-round Civic Engagement
Staying in the know about what's going on in local, state and national legislation
is essential to ensure your voice is heard throughout the year. In addition to voting,
during elections, here are some ways you can continue to involvement in policy
GOTV (Get Out the Vote)
BCDI-Atlanta has partnered with Vot-ER to help you vote safely!
Visit Vot-ER to learn how you can register to vote, vote by mail, vote in-person, and stay abreast of the latest information.
Voter registration status
Mail-In application and ballot status
Early voting locations
Registration information on file with the county office
Sample ballot for the upcoming election
Provisional Ballot status
COVID-19 & voting: Check vote.org/covid-19 for the latest updates.
Get Out the Count
In preparation for the 2020 Census, BCDI-Atlanta launched Black Children Count - a Complete Count Committee.
Young children, along with migrants and minorities are identified as “hard-to-count populations” by the United States Census Bureau - young children potentially due to complex family relationships and migrants and minorities likely due to fear of legal aspects of being counted, unfamiliarity with census benefits, and difficulty with dominant national language(s).
The Black Children Count Complete Count Committee played a significant role in increasing the number of migrants and minorities who participated in the 2020 Census and included their young children in the household count.
Check out BCDI-Atlanta's feature in U.S. Census Bureau Atlanta Region's 2021Census Best Practices Showcase (pp. 4-6).
In partnership with NBCDI and the Pritzker Foundation, BCDI-Atlanta engages with families, early childhood educators (with a particular focus on Family, Friend and Neighbor providers), community members and stakeholders to develop a legislative agenda focused on prenatal to three.
In 2021, Paid Leave became a reality in Georgia, thanks to the work of partners like
9to5! In partnership with the Georgia Coalition for Paid Leave, on which BCDI-Atlanta proudly serves as a member, 9to5 Georgia recently released Dollars and Sense: A Cost/Benefit Analysis of Paid Leave in Georgia.
With Paid Leave as a prenatal-3 goal in our legislative agenda, BCDI-Atlanta is excited to share this publication on the coalition's behalf! Be sure to view partner organizations on p. 27.