“Our racial equity work has always been a core part of our work. But it has been an extraordinary part of the past year to be able to be in dialogue with one another and with the communities we serve to talk about racial equity and to see how the learning points and opportunities have been translated into the way we are doing our work and the way we are externally facing with our communities.”
DC Greens believes that access to healthy food is a basic human right. The team works to make systemic shifts to healthy food access by advancing community-led solutions in order to change the conditions that have historically held inequities in place. In their eight years of administering the DC Health-funded Produce Plus program, DC Greens sought to center participant feedback to ensure the program was both an economic driver for regional farmers and an affordable and accessible opportunity for low-income communities to shop for produce. While the organization has had a long-standing focus on advancing racial justice, as their work progressed, they recognized that to authentically shift external systems, they needed to ensure that their internal staff, policies and culture reflected their commitment to equity.
Kathy Hollowell-Makle, Jamal Berry and Cynthia Davis have become a collective force in the D.C. early childhood advocacy community. Kathy is Executive Director of the District of Columbia Association for the Education of Young Children; Jamal is President of the District of Columbia Head Start Association and Vice President of Programs at Educare DC; and Cynthia is Executive Director of D.C. Family Child Care Association and owner of Kings & Queens Child Care Center, a home-based early learning program. Together, they represent educators and administrators in every type of early childhood education program setting in the District. Their knowledge of federal and District early childhood policy, coupled with a full understanding of how these policies are experienced on the ground, creates a collaborative force that is creating change.
As schools continue to face intense uncertainty amid the COVID-19 pandemic, high-quality and equitable education has never been more critical. Adventist leaders and educators have been receiving support through ACE Academy to help navigate these challenges and to drive necessary change.
The foundation has spent the past several years focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion with the initial goals of promoting an equitable environment, understanding the impact of racism on the communities and families we serve, and prioritizing equity and inclusion in every facet of our work, ultimately to help all children and families thrive.