WCCRC Statement on Anti-Asian Racism - and support for all BIPOC communities
Last week we learned about the family turned away from an unlicensed child care spot because the person offering care said “I won’t take Chinese in”. This statement is blatantly hurtful to the family, to the child, and ultimately to society as a whole. We are constantly disturbed that such hate and fear exists within us towards people who are different from ourselves. We ask, what can we do?
This month as we celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day, we are still reeling from the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc discovery of unmarked graves at the former Kamloops Residential School, and the 751 graves in Saskatchewan, knowing more revelations will follow. Last month in May we celebrated Asian Heritage Month in the face of growing incidents of racist outbreaks. (SFU School of Communication has an overview in their own statement against Anti-Asian racism). Systemic racism persists against all BIPOC communities and has been overt in Canadian history. We call for policy changes, for enforcement against hate, for punishment and retribution. We need to do more.
We cannot hide from the facts and pretend that racism doesn’t exist within us as well as within our systems and institutions. We cannot go about our daily business and not become involved in a solution. We need to begin with ourselves, by examining our own biases and judgments. And we can offer our children learning experiences that can interrupt racism and bias in their world.
At times like this, those of us in Early Childhood Education often turn to the work of Louise Derman-Sparks, who has worked with children and adults in early childhood education for more than 50 years and is a faculty emerita of Pacific Oaks College. She is co-author of several books, including Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, and Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism: A Developmental Approach.
In the work of Derman-Sparks and others like her, we learn how to support a child’s sense of identity, to find ease with human diversity, to strive for a sense of fairness and justice, to learn the skills of empowerment, and the ability to stand up for themselves or for others.
This is the work we are charged with today - in the face of injustice, can we stand up for others? How do we do this? As Katrina Chen, The Minister of State for Child Care in BC, recently said in her statement to the press in response to this story, “Racism takes all forms and it’s on each of us to call it out and stand up against bigotry and stereotypes at every opportunity.”
WCCRC stands in support of the richness of diversity and multiculturalism in our world and local communities. We are better together and we will continue to develop and share resources honouring diversity, equity, and inclusion for all.
Here are some resources that support this work:
- Several WCCRC staff recently participated in training offered by SUCCESS titled “Active Witnessing (Bystanders)Webinar”. Many great resources were shared at this training event and more opportunities are available through SUCCESS such as:
- NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has a page featuring the Four Core Goals of Anti-bias education and how to bring them to every facet of your curriculum
- Find resources for Anti-Bias Education on the Teaching for Change website
- Watch the Film “Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years” by Debbie LeeKeenan and John Nimmo
- Options Community Services Presents Faces of Racism - a resource for Asian communities to discuss and respond to subtle racism
- The Government of Canada has a webpage with resources to Address anti-Asian racism