The First Five Years Fund (FFYF) stands united with millions throughout the nation in affirming that Black Lives Matter, and in condemning the horrific killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and countless other Black Americans.
Silence, ambivalence and complacency – primarily from White people – have allowed racism and oppression to remain permanent fixtures in American society.
If we are to ever come close to achieving the core ideals of equality, liberty and justice we claim to espouse, then we must speak out as strongly as we can whenever we witness oppression and injustice.
We must also put in the hard work necessary to reforming the institutions, laws, and policies that disproportionately disadvantage people of color, and create opportunities that might begin the process of undoing the damage racism has caused over generations.
As an organization that advocates for greater federal investment in high-quality early childhood education, FFYF is committed to advancing policy solutions that result in more equitable access to the programs and opportunities that are proven to help children build strong foundations for long-term success in life. The benefits of high-quality programs from birth through age five do not end with one child, but instead extend to the entire family, now and in the years to come.
These early learning programs must, however, be structured in such a way that actually delivers on the promise of high-quality learning and development. For example, Black children represent 19 percent of preschool enrollment, but 47 percent of preschool children receiving one or more out-of-school suspensions. Racism and racial bias directly contribute to this and many other shameful statistics, which must be addressed through systemic reforms.
So today, as we double-down in our commitment to creating a stronger, healthier, and more equitable America, we again declare that Black Lives Matter and we commit ourselves to action.