Dear Early Mathematics Education Community

For too long, we–especially those who are white and occupy positions of power–have not joined forces to denounce the pervasive and devastating effects of white supremacy and anti-Blackness on the learning and lives of the students in our charge. We write to share a Call to Action for the field, and to ask you to join us in our efforts.

Early childhood educators, including early mathematics educators, have only scratched the surface in acknowledging and disrupting the ways that racial oppression, in general, and the centering of whiteness, in particular, have infiltrated our beliefs, practices, research, and policies. Too often, deficit-oriented theories and perspectives grounded in white supremacy are enacted in curricula, instruction, assessment, and classroom and school structures. These enactments subject many Black, Latinx, Pan-Asian, and Indigenous children to adultification, criminalization, surveillance, educational neglect, and other forms of dehumanization and violence. As a result, children and their families must frequently navigate negative messages about their identities–as learners, as doers of mathematics, and as members of racialized groups.

Call to Action

We call on the field of early mathematics education to name and dismantle white supremacy and anti-Blackness in all of their manifestations. Together we must:

  • show unequivocally that early childhood environments are not immune to racial oppression, but are subject to white supremacy, anti-Blackness, and other forms of racial oppression;
  • explicate the ways in which white supremacy and anti-Blackness are present and operate in the institutions, policies, practices, and belief systems that support early childhood education in particular;
  • demonstrate how white supremacy and anti-Blackness can thwart children’s development, impede educational justice, and threaten the possibility of young children flourishing mathematically;
  • examine our personal and collective involvement in these systems and structures and take action to disrupt the white supremacist status quo, transforming educational experiences and becoming anti-racist actors and advocates;
  • listen to, elevate, and value the expertise and wisdom of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Pan-Asian families, community members, and children; and
  • imagine and develop systems and practices of early mathematics education that honor the humanity of Black, Latinx, Pan-Asian, and Indigenous children and protect their right to thrive.

By signing here, we pledge to seek out, participate in, and create opportunities to answer this Call. We embrace anti-racism, committing ourselves to ongoing critical self-examination and bold actions that oppose white supremacy, anti-blackness and other forms of racial oppression.

Racial Justice in Early Math: A Call to Action

265 signatures = 27% of goal

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The RJEM Working Group

Nathaniel Bryan, Assistant Professor, Miami University
Sarai Coba-Rodriguez, Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Rebeca Itzkowich, Senior Instructor, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
Donna Johnson, Assistant Director of School Supports, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
Nora Kane, Media Coordinator and Strategist, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
Melissa Kirk, Administrative Manager, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
Danny Martin*, Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Jennifer McCray*, Principal Investigator, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
Cody Meirick, Production Manager, Erikson Early Math Collaborative

Gigliana Melzi, Associate Professor, New York University/DREME Network
Amy Parks, Professor, Michigan State University
Priscila Pereira, Doctoral Student, University of Illinois at Chicago
Aisha Ray, Professor Emerita, Erikson Institute
Sisa Renie, Coach/Facilitator, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
Amanda Ruch, Middle School Math Teacher, Chicago Public Schools
Delilah Salgado, Artist and Local School Council Member, Velma Thomas Early Childhood
Niral Shah, Associate Professor, University of Washington
Wilma Valero, Educational Consultant, Valero Educational Consulting, Inc.

*Working Group co-chairs

Support for the Racial Justice in Early Mathematics initiative is provided by the Heising-Simons Foundation.


265 Rosalie DeFino PhD Candidate in Math Education, University of Michigan
264 Jeffrey Choppin Professor, University of Rochester
263 Elham Kazemi University of Washington
262 Elizabeth van Es University of California, Irvine
261 Charlotte Sharpe Syracuse University
260 Julie Sarama Distinguished University Professor, Kennedy Endowed Chair, Marsico Institute University of Denver
259 Dawn Woods Oakland University
258 Shannon Stark Guss Post Doctoral Researcher, University of Denver
257 Travis Weiland University of Houston
256 Stephanie Bynum Kohl Children's Museum of Greater Chicago
255 Ingrid Ristroph Graduate Student, University of Texas at Austin
254 Camille Griffin PhD Student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
253 Luisiana Melendez Erikson Institute
252 Flanny Alamparambil
251 Sunghwan Byun Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University
250 Danielle Caldwell
249 Jose Martinez Hinestroza Assistant Professor. Texas State University
248 Tarah Donoghue PhD Candidate - STEM education
247 Laura Bofferding Associate Professor, Purdue University
246 Sean Freeland West Virginia University
245 Erik Jacobson Indiana University
244 Heather Lindfors-Navarro Doctoral Candidate University of Missouri
243 Nicole Wessman-Enzinger George Fox University
242 Jessica Wilson Exquisite Truth Co.
241 Nicholas Johnson San Diego State University
240 Julian Williams Prof of Education, Uni of Mancs, UK
239 Janine Remillard University of Pennsylvania
238 Melissa Gresalfi Professor, Vanderbilt University
237 Karisma Morton Assistant Professor
236 Nancy Kress University of Colorado at Boulder
235 Michael Lolkus PhD Candidate, Purdue University
234 Luke Carman North Carolina State University
233 Nicol Howard University of Redlands
232 Nerissa Kuebrich
231 Patricia Lawson Erikson Institute
230 Anita Kumar William Paterson University
229 Allison Pryor Kindergarten teacher, East Irondequoit CSD
228 Katherine Rodriguez Teachers College
227 Savitha Moorthy Executive Director; Tandem, Partners in Early Learning
226 Kendra Curtiss-Tomaski Director of Early Childhood & Family Services
225 Nereyda Hurtado Grail Family Services
224 Amy Clark RECE
223 Lisa Ginet Erikson Institute
222 Betsy Ferney Lakewood Avenue Children's School
221 Donna Dervishian Project Manager/Education Development Center
220 Alyssa (Sisa) Pon Renie Coach and PD Facilitator
219 Douglas Bell Professor of Early Childhood Education Kennesaw State University
218 Jaime Dice Moore Dice Writing
217 Jacqueline Robles Early Learning Coalition of Manatee County
216 Encian Pastel Teacher and Afternoon Program Co-Director, Children's Community Center
215 Kim McLeveighn Advisor/instructor Bank Street College of Education
214 Monique Dols Early childhood math teacher, Bronx NY
213 Martha Rae Early Childhood Advocate and Educator
212 Nicole Fletcher Assistant Professor of Educational Studies and Teacher Preparation, Fairfield University
211 Benjamin Dickman Math Teacher, The Hewitt School
210 Shu-Chen Jenny Yen Professor of Child and Adolescent Studies
209 Nathan Alexander Assistant Professor, Morehouse College
208 Jessica Pablo The Primary School
207 James Young Professor, ECE, Clark Atlanta University
206 Beth Smaka Asst. Professor, Early Childhood Education, Sauk Valley Community College
205 Ann Bond Director of Special Education, Peoria Public Schools
204 Maureen Cummings Teacher Little Learners
203 Lisa Rademacher self
202 Christina Lopez MDAEYC
201 Christi Law Educare Flint
200 Stephanie Calabrese George Mason University PhD student
199 Heather Morley Lawnswood Childcare Ltd
198 Margaret Leitch Copeland Retired early childhood educator
197 Beth Huber ETSU Little Bucs Director
196 Kiran Pandey Kv
195 Kimberley Wong Teacher
194 John Porter Walden University
193 Tania Mustafa LACC
192 Kamaie Clark AZAEYC VPadvocacy and public policy
191 Amber West Mighty Thinkers Ed Res
190 Mary Robinson-Banks Learn-In- Play Day Care
189 Tara Kirton Doctoral Student/Early Childhood Educator and Teacher Educator
188 Anna Brown Teacher, Valeska Hinton
187 Diane Greeley Teacher LNS
186 Emily Crement LaGrange School District 105
185 Angela Venier Beverley Hills Church Preschool
184 Julie McGough Azusa Unified
183 Erin Moore United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)
182 LYNN HARTLE Professor of Education
181 Elly Maconochie Director of Early Childhood, Canterbury School
180 Judy Ripke Teacher
179 Julia Capper ECSE teacher, San Diego Unified
178 Hilary Laing Early Childhood Literacy Specialist
177 Maile Hadley Zeno
176 Cheryl P Thompson Pre-K inclusion teacher/ mentor
175 Cindy Hoisington EDC
174 William Breeman Teacher, SJUSD
173 Marianna Spera Kindergarten Teacher, Brooke Charter Schools
172 Margaret Caspe
171 Courtnie Marsh Student
170 Mariah Haskins Infant toddler teacher
169 Marissa Cobleigh Early Childhood Specialist, GISD
168 Debbie Cazares Professor, Riverside City College
167 Teresa Gonczy O'Rourke Early Childhood Systems Consulting
166 Shaemia Newsome All Our Children's Center, Inc.