The CSDC community is committed to valuing individual differences and actively including children and families with a wide variety of racial, ethnic, family, religious, economic and cultural orientations, as well as children with a range of special needs and linguistic backgrounds. We believe that it is only by providing and supporting diversity within our classroom that we can enable children and adults to value the richness and importance of a multicultural education and world. The CSDC Diversity, Equity, and Bias Taskforce (D.E.B.T.) developed the following mission statement in 2005 that reflects these values and beliefs. The following mission was adopted by the CSDC staff to guide future initiatives:
“Lack of the free and equitable intercourse which springs from a variety of shared interests makes intellectual stimulation unbalanced. Diversity of stimulation means novelty, and novelty means challenge to thought.” John Dewey, 1916
We believe that human diversity is integral to the care and education of young children and to all those who touch their lives. Diversity at the University of New Hampshire can be defined as “a fully inclusive campus community that is enriched by persons of different races, genders, ethnicities, nationalities, economic backgrounds, ages, abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and religious beliefs.” Our goal is to promote awareness and acceptance, affirm equity, and take an active stance against bias in our community.
We strive to respect and value the differences in each child and family in our community through all that we do. We value the development of strong relationships with families and colleagues in order to better understand how we can respond to cultural and historical differences in experiences, values, and practices. We offer an environment that welcomes and celebrates the sharing of family history and culture in the classroom in meaningful ways. In our curriculum we are intentional in providing children with opportunities to explore similarities and variation, and we are responsive to the questions that emerge.
We support children in being active participants in their world by connecting them to their community in ways that foster an understanding of diversity and an ability to effect change. We are committed to an open and ongoing dialogue among colleagues, families, and the students we mentor, seeking insight into how we contribute to social bias and the process of change. As adults we strive to be models of active participation in our field by speaking out against bias and seeking equity.