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

612 signatures = 61% 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.


612 Maria Ortega
611 Jian Liu Adjunct Assistant Professor, New York University
610 Alexandra Paul
609 Justin Johns Math Coach, International School of Latvia
608 Krysten Hardee Teacher- GCPS
607 Nicole Looper Nelson Mandela Early Childhood Development Center
606 Braia Lewis
605 Claire Riddell
604 Pablo Gomez-Echegaray ucsc
603 Rakhee Dodia erikson institute
602 Jenny Ryan Teacher
601 Kyla Kemble
600 Christine Andrews-Larson Florida State University
599 Chloe Imhoff Teacher
598 Courtney Nelson Portland Public Schools, OR
597 Sue Gifford Emeritus Fellow, Roehampton University
596 Rajeev Virmani Assoc Prof, Sonoma State University
595 celine liu Director of Teaching, Learning, Educational Equity
594 Mari Altshuler PhD student, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University
593 Dionne Aminata Director of Strategic Initiatives, Illustrative Mathematics
592 Kaylee Holman
591 Ruth Corley Providence Public Schools
590 Rosa Serratore PreK-12 math coordinator
589 Greta Anderson
588 Jenna Laib K-8 Math Specialist, Public Schools of Brookline (MA)
587 Kenisha Bynoe Tdsb
586 Lindsay Keazer Assistant professor of math education Sacred Heart U
585 Deborah Ball Professor, University of Michigan
584 Jenny Poole
583 Cindy Jong University of Kentucky
582 Dr Lisa Tsuchiya Quileute Tribal Education Director
581 Cynthia Johnson Preschool teacher
580 Lara Dick Associate Professor, Bucknell University
579 Alejandra Salinas Boston University
578 Scott Farver Assistant Professor Michigan State University
577 Mollee Shultz Postdoctoral researcher, Texas State University
576 Courtney Koestler Assoc. Professor, Ohio University
575 Kim Johnson West Chester university
574 Kelly McCormick Professor of Mathematics Education, The University of Southern Maine
573 Benjamin Ahlvik-Garrison Teacher Candidate,UCSC
572 Alyssa Sayavedra Mathematics Teacher, Merritt Community College and Oakland Unified School District
571 Kit Golan MS Math Teacher
570 salvador huitzilopochtli Doctoral Candidate/ University of California- Santa Cruz
569 Elyssa Miller Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education
568 Esperanza Zamora UCSC Education Department Staff
567 Judit Moschkovich Professor, Univ. of California, Santa Cruz
566 Victoria Hand Associate Professor, CU Boulder
565 Katie Lewis University of Washington
564 Joshua Sussman Academic Researcher UC Berkeley
563 Xinyu Wei Graduate Student Researcher, UC Berkeley
562 Debra Sullivan Seattle Black Child Development Institute
561 Ronzeyl Newsome Little Fort Elementarty School Admin
560 Carson Newsome Graceland Univ Student
559 Carrington Newsome WFU Student
558 Carol Brunson Day Distinguished Fellow
557 Chris Amirault School Director, Tulsa Educare; Instructor, U of Oklahoma
556 Maisie Gholson Assistant Professor, University of Michigan
555 Gregory O'Loughlin Director - The Educators' Cooperative
554 Shira Helft Desmos
553 Lisa Bejarano Lesson Developer, Desmos
552 Arthur Powell Rutgers University
551 Faith Moynihan Lesson Developer, Desmos
550 Cristina Granda University of Washington
549 Lisa Ferguson Erikson Institute
548 Kathy Perkins Director, PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado Boulder
547 MaryAnn Brown Teacher
546 Patricia Pinheiro
545 Flavia Rodrigues
544 Justin Zignago None
543 Patricia Peixoto HR specialist
542 Dill Costa
541 Quincy Raggs Resource Counselor - The Village
540 Glauco Garcia
539 Margo Ford Owner and Author/ TLC Consulting
538 Susan Wetrich Teacher
537 Brenda Williamson Professor - DTCC
536 Emily Norman Collaboration for Early Childhood
535 Erica Moy
534 Marisol Salgado
533 NaLei Arsiga-Faurot Home School
532 Jennifer Adams Teacher, Chicago Public Schools & Center for Talent Development
531 EvaRosa Z
530 Emily Lux Professor, Millikin University
529 Joslyn Richardson Institute for School Partnership at Washington University
528 Rebecca Criollo Math Instructional Coach, UChicago STEM Education
527 Fiona De Salle
526 Adam De Salle
525 Erika Pon
524 Kevin Pon Director of Partnerships, Accion Opportunity Fund
523 Janine Gomez Executive Director, I Dream PCS
522 Janice Johnson Teacher
521 Kelly Wahmhoff
520 Mattalyn Terrell Henry Booth House/Near South
519 Kisonnah Williams Mary Crane North site
518 Carla Strickland UChicago STEM Ed
517 Kelty Kelley FX O'Regan Early Childhood Development Center
516 Karissa Solas Fajardo
515 Wendy Gardiner Associate Professor, Pacific Lutheran University
514 Claudia Lopez Fairfield Academy
513 Betty Walls Walls Educational Services