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Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor


The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is excited to share our newest publication! From the foreword by Barbara Bowman of the Erikson Institute to a closing essay by David Johns, Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African-Americans, Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor: A Strengths-Based Look at the State of the Black Child is designed to challenge the prevailing discourse about Black children–one which overemphasizes limitations and deficits and does not draw upon the considerable strengths, assets and resilience demonstrated by our children, families and communities. Click here to learn more about this fascinating publication, and our most recent state-focused reports from Florida, Illinois, and Pennsylvania.


In response to the urgency created by recently proposed policies and their implications for Black children and families, the National Black Child Development Institute's (NBCDI) Annual Parent Power BootCamp will shift its focus to address preschool suspensions and expulsions.

NBCDI's Action Agenda issues a challenge to "early learning systems to eliminate preschool suspensions and expulsions in early childhood education and provide appropriate support for teachers responding to the needs of children." The change in this year's BootCamp will enhance our coordinated response to the egregious, yet pervasive, issue of preschool suspensions that impacts Black children at a disproportionate rate. Most recently, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed to omit a question regarding whether a child between the ages of 0-5 was subjected to preschool suspension/expulsion on the 2017 National Survey of Children's Health.

NBCDI will use the momentum from our response to the HHS issue this past week to amplify the suspension and expulsion crisis in our communities during National Black Child Development Week: May 14-20, 2017.

In November 2014, with broad bipartisan support, Congress reauthorized the Child Care Development Grant Block Grant Act (CCDBG), the major federal child care program, for the first time since 1996. The new law makes significant advances to support early learning and financial security for families and children. The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI), in collaboration with the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), has written a policy brief to encourage state administrators and elected officials to consider the unique and diverse needs of all children and families as they implement the new provision of the Act.

The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence (Initiative) released the Faith-Based and Community Leaders Early Learning Toolkit (Toolkit) in early October at the 46th Annual National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) Conference in Orlando, FL.