The National Head Start Association stands against racism, discrimination, and hatred of any kind. We are saddened by the need to share these words again as we condemn the murders that took place in Atlanta, Georgia, and mourn the eight lives tragically lost, including six Asian women. We acknowledge that this is not an isolated incident, but one that has brought the nation’s attention to the rise in hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, stemming from derogatory, anti-Asian language around COVID-19.
Head Start proudly partners with families in every community across the country, embracing diversity as a strength and celebrating cultural differences. As we have spoken with Head Start leaders whose programs support predominantly AAPI families, many have expressed fear and worry for their safety and for the emotional well-being of the children and families they support. We hear these fears and we are compelled to address them by amplifying their voices and offering the support that each individual community needs.
Head Start must continue to embrace the role of educating children on anti-racism and empathy from an early age and equipping families to have difficult conversations around race and racism. Head Start’s children, all children, deserve a future that is free from hate. The Head Start community must stand together in condemning acts of racism and stand with our community partners, allies, and friends who are doing the work in pursuit of this future for our children.
The National Head Start Association is a not-for-profit organization committed to the belief that every child, regardless of circumstances at birth, has the ability to succeed in school and in life. The opportunities offered by Head Start lead to healthier, empowered children and families, and stronger, more vibrant communities. NHSA is the voice for more than 1 million children, 270,000 staff, and 1,600 Head Start grantees in the United States. Follow @NatlHeadStart for more information.