Darren Walker, the President of the Ford Foundation, wrote a beautiful Op-Ed in Friday’s New York Times about the value and purpose of philanthropy and its role in creating a culture of justice and equity. I found myself reflecting on his message and our work at the Institute. The question of whether and how philanthropy is used to actually change the human condition is one that has guided the Institute from its very beginning. In the tradition of the City University of New York and its commitment to social justice, we seek to ensure that all children have access to excellence by strengthening the systems and people that serve them. The Institute, in its transformative work, is grateful not only to our philanthropic funders that provide the fuel for our ideas, but also to the government agencies, child care providers, educators, advocates, policymakers, and researchers who help us make true change in policy and practice.
Each of these partners provides expertise, financial support, knowledge, energy, and/or time toward the Institute’s efforts to innovate and test new paradigms and then to build systems that can elevate and sustain the field of early childhood education. At this time of year, and always, we express our gratitude to everyone who inspires us to challenge the inequities and drive true and deep change in this society on behalf of young children.
We wish you all – our partners, our funders, and the providers throughout New York – happy and healthy holidays. We look forward to our continued work in the new year!
– Best Wishes from Sherry Cleary and the staff of the
Early Childhood Professional Development Institute.