Equity and Inclusion Impact Statement
First Steps does and has always felt the anguish of injustice for people of color.
That is why we intently focus on creating lasting change starting with our youngest children.
The hope of our world and community lies with these young children.
First Steps Kent is committed to advancing equity and inclusion so that all children grow up healthy, safe, and strong.
First Steps Kent aspires to be an innovative and courageous leader supporting a community where all children and families are healthy, safe, and strong. Investing in an early childhood system that helps all children and families thrive will lead to a community in which everyone can fully participate and contribute. Our leadership involves not only promoting policies and practices that address equity, but also working to dismantle structural and institutional racism and inequity that harms our community’s children.
We recognize that equity is not the same as equality. The path to equity requires that the community provide more support and resources to the families in our community that are challenged by compounding inequities based on their race and ethnicity – health, education, housing, economic opportunities, among others – that put them at a disadvantage and limit their ability to reach their full potential. First Steps Kent Recognizes that we have an important role to play in this process. Our goal is that race and ethnicity are no longer predictors of life outcomes.
We commit to ensuring equity in terms of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender, age, ability, and other protected categories of individuals, is embedded in our structure, policies, strategic planning, and advocacy efforts. Promoting equity is critical to truly making a difference in the lives of those we serve. To that end, we make a conscious and explicit effort to:
- Ensure our work focuses on the elimination of disparities in child outcomes;
- Educate ourselves and others to improve understanding of explicit bias and the historical context of inequities, which is vital to recognizing and dismantling barriers to improved outcomes;
- Critically examine First Steps Kent policies and practices using a racial equity lens and work to ensure that both their intent and impact will promote fairness and equity;
- Model as an organization the changes we want to see implemented throughout our community and advocate for the elimination of institutional and structural racism in systems we influence; and
- Serve our community’s children through active engagement of their families, listening to their needs, understanding their strengths, and advocating for needed policies, programs, and supports.