Dr Lucretia Berry and Dr Tehia Glass on Justice and Belonging in the Early Years

In this session, Dr. Lucretia Berry and Dr. Tia Glass discuss their new book Teaching for Justice and Belonging, explaining why self-reflection is key before making changes, the need to understand racism as an ideology, finding allies, and why the work must start with educating ourselves. We also discuss why it's important for Early Years professionals to engage with the growth process of anti-racism; what a ‘just’ learning space looks like and how to create a feeling of belonging for all. There is advice on where to start with your own anti-racism journey, how to reflect on your own practice and pedagogy and how to define ‘racial competence’. We finish by discussing some strategies for embedding good practice into every setting, and how to support parents on their journey too.
· January 6, 2023

Dr Lucretia Carter Berry is an author, educator, speaker, and the founder of Brownicity, an agency committed to making important, scholarly-informed, antiracism education accessible, and a mission to foster education designed to inspire a culture of justice and true belonging for all.

As a wife in an interracial marriage and mom of three multiethnic children, Lucretia brings her personal and professional experience to the public sector where she is passionate about serving children and their adult decision-makers. Her books, courses, and TED Talk quell fears associated with racial literacy.

Dr. Tehia Starker Glass is the Cato College of Education Director of Diversity and Inclusion, the Inclusive Excellence Executive Fellow for Faculty Development for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and an award-winning Associate Professor of Elementary Education and Educational Psychology in the Department of Reading and Elementary Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Dr. Glass’ passion resides in ensuring that all marginalized students have successful schooling experiences. She is a former elementary school teacher who now consults nationally with teachers, schools, districts, and organizations to revise their instruction and curriculum to be more anti-racism oriented and is also a TED speaker.

Together they have co-authored a fabulous book called ‘Teaching for Justice & Belonging: A Journey for Educators & Parents’.

In this session, Dr. Berry and Dr. Glass dive into why teaching justice and belonging in early childhood is so critical. They provide practical steps educators can take to create truly inclusive environments where all children feel seen, valued, and heard.

Key learning points:

  • Self-reflection comes first – analyze biases, triggers, and gaps in knowledge before making curriculum changes
  • Move from performative efforts to truly embedding justice requires intentionality, vulnerability, and time
  • Find like-minded colleagues for community support; this work cannot be done alone

Dr. Berry and Dr. Glass champion Early Childhood professionals taking personal growth journeys to build “racial competence.” When educators have skill and attitude to notice, analyze, and confront racial inequities, real change can blossom.

Lucretia & Tia explain why teaching anti-racism isn’t about demanding behavior changes in others; it’s meeting people where they are. They urge finding parents, colleagues who want to move forward, then taking next steps together. Beautiful metaphors like tending soil before fruits can grow reinforce that this is continual work. But with vision, goals, looking back at progress made, justice and belonging can thrive.

This episode was originally broadcast on the 6th of January 2023.

Links:

You can buy the book on Brownicity here: https://brownicity.com/

Or Amazon here:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1119834325/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dr Berry’s TED talk can be found here:

https://www.ted.com/talks/lucretia_berry_children_will_light_up_the_world_if_we_don_t_keep_them_in_the_dark

Dr Glass’s TED talk can be found here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVoVsbpfZhA

Dr Glass’s Graduate Certificate in Anti-Racism can be found here:

https://professional.charlotte.edu/programs/anti-racism-graduate-certificate

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Episode Includes

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