Diversity & Inclusion at Casa
Statement For Diversity and Inclusion
Casa de Corazón stands with people of color and joins with our community to actively promote anti-racist endeavors from the ground level. We recognize that as a society we are embarking on a time of opportunity for much-needed change. We are excited to be a part of the solution as we create a platform from which the Casa children may grow to join this movement toward a more just society as a result of being immersed in such an intercultural early childhood education program like Casa.
Pioneering Interculturality is one of Casa’s core values. Intercultural is beyond multicultural, which is where multiple cultures coexist alongside one another. Intercultural is beyond cross-cultural, which is where cultures learn from one another. In intercultural communities, we connect with one another in a reciprocal, mutual, and inclusive celebration of all cultures.
We strive for equality, justice, and meaningful relationship-building that allows us to honor our heritage while respecting others. While we learn from each other’s cultures, we may also examine our own culture more deeply. Through intercultural community engagement, we allow ourselves to be changed.
Our mission includes providing inclusive, diverse daycare services within the communities we serve. Our staff members enrolled children, and their families to engage in our intercultural community. As a result of this engagement, our lives are permanently enriched.
For the past 18 years, we have worked to promote inclusive initiatives that make our centers an ideal environment of intercultural engagement from early childhood. Because the first 5 years of life are the fastest years of brain development we experience as human beings, what children see and experience in terms of diversity during this crucial time forms the foundation for their world view for their entire lives. We expose children to diversity and celebrate its beauty in different ways with art, reading, music, and dancing, creative play, and we regularly invite families to share their experiences and backgrounds with the Casa family. Casa hosts annual celebrations as part of our program that allows us to get to know, recognize, and support one another as members of the community including – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lunar New Year, Holi Festival, Nelson Mandela Day, Hispanic Heritage Day, and Indigenous People’s Day. On these days we engage in authentic and educational celebrations with our enrolled children, led by members of the cultures we are celebrating whenever possible. This is what intercultural learning is all about.
We hire and promote an extremely intercultural and otherwise diverse cross-section of team members to intentionally create diversity in the relationships and environment that we provide to families and children. 95% of our team members are either Hispanic or bi/multicultural in ethnicity. Our enrolled families include a diverse cross-section of our communities as well. Through this intentionality, members of our Gran Familia benefit from genuine connections with people of other cultures than their own, and the beauty and enrichment that stem from inclusion.
As part of our Corazoncitos training sessions, we are offering our staff a course entitled Race and Culture in Early Childhood Settings: Beginning the Conversation. This training will help us maintain the conversation about race and culture by exploring, discussing, and sharing our own experiences and the role culture plays in our lives. Some of the beliefs and values that are different from traditional American culture are explored in this class. An emphasis is placed on the need for ongoing, intentional, and meaningful discussions.
Moving forward, Casa commits to incorporate the discussion of race within our organization through our children, staff, and headquarters team. We will consistently review what we are doing and how we can improve to create a more unified and just world for our children and staff. It is imperative that we continue this conversation consistently to promote perpetual growth within our organization and world. We welcome and value any input from our parents and staff as to additional ways we can incorporate diversity and inclusion into our daily lives and work.
If you are a Casa family, we invite you to download our app for access to over 1,000 intercultural songs to enjoy with your children at home and further enhance their diverse education.