NEW YORK — Deconstructing systemic racism within infant and early childhood mental health and early childhood systems was the topic of a virtual conference hosted by the NYC Early Childhood Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC), which the McSilver Institute leads with the New York Center for Child Development.
“This is an opportunity to collectively learn and to take collective responsibility for improvement — how we collectively are going to move forward to make a change,” said early childhood psychologist Barbara Stroud, who on May 18 gave the keynote presentation and led a discussion with a panel of a cross-system experts, including Sherry Cleary of New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at the City University of New York; Jeanette Gong, PhD, of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Jacqueline P. Martin, DSL, LMSW, of NYC Administration for Children’s Services; Ericka Moore-Bass, MPH, CLC, of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; and Wendy Clarke Wilcox, MD, MBA, MPH, FACOG of NYC Health + Hospitals.
“In our search for equity and justice we’re not here to blame anyone. We’re not here to tell anyone that it’s their fault,” said Dr. Stroud. “We have all inherited a vastly inequitable and unjust social structure. It’s been in place for over 400 years and it runs very deep through all of our systems: education, health, Part C [federal grant program], mental health, child welfare, the criminal justice system and more. We have some wonderful experts from those systems to share their experience, in addition to what they’re doing to combat systemic racism and bring greater equity to their systems.”
See and hear what Dr. Stroud and the other experts had to share in the video above. Presentation slides, speaker bios, and more resources are available at TTACNY.org.
The NYC Early Childhood Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) provides training and technical assistance to mental health professionals serving children ages 0-5 and their families in the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene-funded Early Childhood Therapeutic Centers, as well as professionals working in New York City outpatient mental health clinics; Early Intervention, Universal Pre-K and ACS Early Learn sites; and other child-serving systems. TTAC is funded by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the New York Center for Child Development (NYCCD) is a partnership lead.