Dear Early 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

386 signatures = 39% 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.


386 Caitlyn Russell Early Childhood Special Educator- Adams 12 Five Star Schools Thornton Colorado
385 Eva Porter
384 Patty Buenrostro Assistant Professor of Secondary Education
383 Beth Miracle Meiman Retired educator & Independent consultant
382 Alma El Issa Parent
381 TIMOTHY M JENKINS Teacher's Aide & Activity Specialist
380 Lauren Solarski Loyola University & Erikson Institute
379 Glenna Jakush Mentor Teacher, Christopher House
378 Regina Puckett Executive Director; Origins Learning Community
377 Rocio Almanza
376 Ellen Lynch Professor of ECE (Ret.)
375 Elizabeth Suazo
374 Sara Rezvi Program Director, Math Circles of Chicago | Doctoran Candidate at UIC
373 Holly Bamford Hunt Bamford Foundation
372 Edie M Dobrez Homewood Science Center
371 Veronica Cortez Associate Director, Policy at Erikson Institute
370 Luke Bandyk Erikson Institute
369 Kathryn Coffey K-5 Math Curriculum Specialist
368 Hannah Kaare Program Coordinator of the Early Childhood Leadership Academy, Erikson Institute
367 PENNY SMITH Erikson Institute
366 Kathryn Chval Dean, UIC College of Education
365 Rebeca Itzkowich Erikson Institute
364 Jamilah R. Jor'dan
363 Lori Farrer
362 Renee Miller Coach, Erikson Early Math Collaborative
361 Larissa Mulholland UIC College of Education
360 Carly Stacy Erikson Institute
359 Carlotta Conley College of Lake County Children's Learning Center
358 Jie-Qi Chen Erikson Institute
357 Michelle Soltero Grossmont College
356 Amber Peters Elgin Partnership for Early Learning
355 Erica McCormack Self
354 Ayelet Miller Education Department Chair, Triton College
353 Rachel Herrera Early intervention therapist and IMHC
352 Carrie Nepstad Harold Washington College
351 Rachel Hilbert PreK Teacher, CPS
350 Alix Cozen First Up
349 Veena Villivalam
348 Crystal Glover Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, Winthrop University
347 Adam Kennedy Associate Professor, ECSE - Loyola University Chicago
346 Jessica Pablo The Primary School
345 Tameeka McFarlane Teacher
344 Gillian McNamee Erikson Institute
343 Dina Mendola Course and Implementation Specialist
342 Shruthi Kannan Mary Crane Center, Morse
341 Lisanne Hedger Mother
340 Vanessa Arcinas
339 Frances Harper Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee
338 Sheila Haennicke Erikson Institute
337 Maria Fung Worcester State University
336 Ruth Hoffman Adjunct Professor of Math, Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls, GA
335 Sommer Gentry Professor, United States Naval Academy
334 Soren Rasmussen Software Engineer, NCAR
333 Helen Burn Instructor Highline College
332 Alan Scrivner Retired Scientist
331 Steve Lehman Professor Emeritus
330 Heather Hulett
329 Sarah Parks-Reese Early Learning Specialist
328 Beth Mills Executive Director, PivotED Consulting
327 Monica Varma Education Manager SSYC
326 Anita Sundrani PhD Student and Research Assistant - University of Houston
325 Tanaga Rodgers OSSE
324 Erin Reid Erikson Institute
323 Kira Hamman Penn State Mont Alto
322 Isauro M. Escamilla San Francisco Unified School District
321 Deborah Jenkins Educator
320 Claire Nuchtern Math Teacher
319 Akil Parker Adjunct Math Professor, Cheyney University
318 Kateri Thunder Educator, Researcher, & Consultant
317 Christopher Danielson Executive Director, Public Math
316 Vada Gray Blogger and Educator
315 Herb Green
314 Kay Perry Retired Elementary Math Specialist
313 Mark Ellis CSU Fullerton
312 Sharen Woodley Regional Vice-President of Operations Philadelphia Brightside Academy
311 Melissa Amison Melissa Amison LCSW
310 Courtney Warner Math Coach, West Hartford Public Schools
309 Evan Taylor Mathematics Educator, Indianapolis Public Schools
308 Noam Szoke Educator, Math Content Specialist
307 Pat Phipps Retired ECE Educator and Executive
306 Beverly Jackson Georgetown University School of Medicine Community Based Learning
305 Meghan Gowin Teacher, Uplift Ascend Primary
304 Veronica White Consultant
303 Jerlean Black Caucus
302 Kira Hamann Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education, Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville
301 Hannah Hemperly
300 Ana de Leon Learning Bridge Early Education Center
299 Andrianna Smyrniotis Professor, Illinois Central College
298 Shayna Steinberg
297 Rebecca Swartz Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
296 Adriana Weichman Cps
295 Laura Wojciechowski 2nd grade teacher CPS
294 Melissa Herrera Director, Little Scholars Club Early Childhood Center
293 annaliese newmeyer Start early
292 Catherine Main Senior Lecturer, College of Education UIC
291 Judy Macks Lecturer Towson University
290 Liza W Math Coach
289 Kathleen Sheridan University of Illinois at Chicago
288 Noel Kuriakos University of Maryland College Park, Col of Edu
287 Beth Herbel-Eisenmann