Our Statement on Racial Inequities and Systemic Racism – June 2020

Young Black Protester carrying a My Life Matters poster
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Greene ~ Alpha Shots Photography

The Partnership for Children of Cumberland County stands in solidarity in the fight to end systemic racism and injustice. We are committed to advancing the well-being of children, strengthening the early care and education system in our community, and empowering families. We uphold our founding beliefs that all children receive a sound education, beginning at birth, and families receive the support they need to ensure success. Unfortunately, the data shows that our system is failing children who are Black.

Black children are at higher risk than their white counterparts, by merely being born Black.

  • Infants who are Black are half as likely to reach the age of 3-years old than their white peers. *
  • More than 13% of infants who are Black are born with low birth weight, as compared to 7% of their white peers.*
  • The achievement gap has been observed as early as 9-months-old in our Black children. **
  • More than 25% of toddlers who are Black live in deep poverty, as compared to 7% of their white peers.*
  • Black preschoolers are expelled at three times the rate as their K-12 counterparts.
  • Children who are Black and below the age of 5-years-old are expelled at a higher rate than their K-12 counterparts. **
  • A preschooler who is Black is twice as likely to be expelled than their Latino and white peers and five times more likely than their Asian American peers. ***

Action Plan

Recent events have made it crystal clear that we must renew our 27+year-old commitment to the children and families in our community and enact tangible changes in our organization to end the inequalities and inequities for Black children and their families. Moving forward, our organization:

  • Acknowledges that implicit and explicit biases impact how we interact with families and children of color. As providers of training and programming, we will examine our practices and make fundamental changes in how we provide services.
  • Strives to look at our community through an equity lens, and will increase our diversity training for our staff.
  • Advocates for equality, equity, and justice for children and will work to remove systemic barriers.
  • Accepts that educating our community to raise awareness about the importance of early education and family support is our responsibility.
  • Understands that a strong early education increases K-12 success, and we will strengthen our relationships with the Cumberland County Schools.
  • Knows that lawmakers and policymakers are crucial to ending the inequities, and we will be a strong voice for our youngest citizens to our city, town, county, and state policymakers.

In addition, we will continue:

  • To raise our voice, especially when we know our educational system does not provide all children with a sound education.
  • Our work to reduce poverty and have an active role with initiatives like Pathways for Prosperity.
  • Our work with more than two-dozen other organizations to reduce child abuse and maltreatment through evidence-based programs like Parent Cafes and universal home visiting for families with newborns.
  • To serve as a collaborator and community convener to ensure we are working smarter.

The Partnership for Children values all of our community members, and we support the Black Lives Matter movement. This community is our home, and our work is our passion. We are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and role models. We know that we are stronger together, and together, with your help, we can achieve success for our children. 

Help us in our efforts to ensure all children receive a sound education, beginning at birth, and families receive the support they need to ensure success.

* The Youngest Americans, a report by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.
** The State School Chiefs, 2009 and 2016 reports.
***Understanding and Eliminating Expulsion in Early Childhood Programs (Office of Early Head Start)