BlackECE was featured in the LA Times!

BlackECE in the News:

Black and Latina workers bear the brunt of California’s low child-care wages, report finds

February 13, 2024

The Los Angeles Times has featured a groundbreaking study released by the UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, co-authored by our very own BlackECE Co-Founder and Board President, Dr. Lea Austin!

The study reveals that Black and Latina workers in California, particularly in the child-care sector, experience significant wage disparities compared to their white counterparts. Despite similar qualifications and educational achievements, women of color often face lower wages and limited career advancement opportunities.

One striking revelation from the report is that Black educators in California are frequently overlooked for pay increases, even after obtaining higher educational degrees. This systemic issue perpetuates wage gaps and contributes to the disproportionate representation of women of color in lower-paying roles within the child care industry. 

The report sheds light on the systemic inequities faced by women of color, particularly Black and Latina child care workers, who endure discrimination and limited career advancement opportunities. This unequal treatment not only affects individual livelihoods but also perpetuates broader economic disparities within communities of color. 

In response to these findings, it is imperative that we take action to address the racial disparities in wages and opportunities within the child care workforce. By advocating for fair compensation and equal access to advancement, we can work towards creating a more equitable and inclusive society for Black Californians. 

BlackECE remains steadfast in its commitment to advocating for fair wages, professional development opportunities, and equal treatment for Black child care workers. Through collaborative efforts and community engagement, we strive to dismantle systemic barriers and create a more just and equitable child care system in California. 

“The message I got as a Black woman in early education was that no matter what you do — what letters and degree attainment — this is your place.” – Dr. Lawanda Wesley, BlackECE Co-Founder.

Dr. LaWanda Wesley’s experience highlights the pervasive discrimination faced by Black women in the child care sector, where qualifications and achievements are often disregarded in favor of racial bias. 

“Women were forced to do it for free and forced to care for their oppressors’ children instead of their own children.” – Keisha Nzewi, BlackECE Woman in Charge.

Keisha Nzewi underscores the historical roots of exploitation and undervaluation of Black and brown women’s labor in child care, dating back to the era of slavery and continuing through systemic inequalities today.

“This is a Black and brown problem. As a whole, we are just not valued.” Betty Luckett’s statement highlights the urgent need to address the systemic devaluation of Black and brown workers in the child care industry, where persistent wage disparities perpetuate economic injustices.

Dr. Lea Austin, study co-author and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at U.C. Berkeley

Dr. Lea‘s study provides critical insights into the disparities faced by Black and Latina child care workers, emphasizing the urgent need for policy reforms and systemic changes. 

  • Black and Latina educators are more likely to be employed in lower-paying roles.
  • Black educators are not rewarded with pay increases for obtaining a higher educational degree.
  • While Black educators make up 8% of the total early child care workforce, they are 13% of in-home child care providers, who are the most likely to report economic worries. 

Check out the L.A. Times article HERE.

Read Dr. Lea Austin’s study HERE

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Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation

Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation October 6, 2023 In June, we were lucky to have 10 volunteers fundraise within their networks to benefit BlackECE. We have raised over $11k! Although the
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Lift Every Voice 2023

Lift Every Voice October 6, 2023 The very first financial support BlackECE received was from the new Practioners’ Voice Fund, to uplift the voices of the Black child care workforce
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BlackECE officially has full-time staff!

BlackECE officially has full-time staff! Keisha Nzewi, Woman in Charge October 6, 2023 BlackECE is celebrating 3 months of full-time staff! Since July, co-founder and Woman in Charge, Keisha Nzewi,
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Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce

Black Californians United for Early Care and Education Response to Gavin Newsom Governor 2024-2025 Budget Release

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce.

Black Californians United for Early Care and Education Response to Gavin Newsom Governor 2024-2025 Budget Release
Black Californians United for Early Care & Education

January 11, 2024

We thank Governor Newsom for his commitment to not cutting or delaying any critical funding to child care overall for the state. We are disappointed the Governor’s budget proposal has no mention of investments that will support Black children, Black families, and Black child care providers and teachers.

This is why BlackECE was founded— to ensure that Black Californians impacted by the ECE system have advocates at the table and unapologetically support the long overdue investments for Black children, Black families, and Black child care workforce. Our strategic plan calls for ending the racial wage injustice faced by Black child care educators, ensuring culturally affirming care for Black children, and Reparations for our youngest Black children and the adults who care for them.

We look forward to working with the Governor and the state Legislature this year to make meaningful commitments in the budget to Black Californians.

Official Social Media Statement

Black Californians United for Early Care and Education Response to California Governor Gavin Newsom State Budget 2024-2025

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What Happens When Childcare Centers Close?​

Childcare is the backbone of our communities, and one childcare provider's story sheds light on the struggles many face every day. In a recent article by Word in Black, BriTanya

Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation

Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation October 6, 2023 In June, we were lucky to have 10 volunteers fundraise within their networks to benefit BlackECE. We have raised over $11k! Although the

BlackECE officially has full-time staff!

BlackECE officially has full-time staff! Keisha Nzewi, Woman in Charge October 6, 2023 BlackECE is celebrating 3 months of full-time staff! Since July, co-founder and Woman in Charge, Keisha Nzewi,

Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation

Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation

October 6, 2023

In June, we were lucky to have 10 volunteers fundraise within their networks to benefit BlackECE. We have raised over $11k! Although the campaign ended in June, we have several monthly donors that keep that pot growing and growing!

Want to help us fundraise? Sign up to participate in our Kwanzaa fundraiser in December!

June 20, 2023

BlackECE has raised over $10,000 for our Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation! We couldn’t have gotten this far without everyone that has supported us, so THANK YOU.

As you know, we’re Blackity Black! And Black folks don’t quit! We are going to take the rest of June to reach our $19k goal. Juneteenth highlights the importance of maintaining hope during times of uncertainty, emphasizing the enduring value of resilience.

Juneteenth reminds us that the fight for liberation is never-ending. Liberation is what we are about. BlackECE intends to create bridges to previous work and create equity-minded policies that focus on Black children, Black families, and the Black ECE workforce.

June 1, 2023

Today kicks off BlackECE’s Juneteenth Campaign for Liberation! We have been lucky to secure several significant foundation gifts over the past 6 months. But to be truly liberated, we need funds that come with no strings attached.

Please join us in our goal of raising $19,000 by Juneteenth! You can help by donating, of course-but we hope you’ll go a step further. Be an accomplice and help raise $500.00 by asking people you know to give to a cause you believe in. Hopefully your belief in BlackECE will make it easy for people you know and trust to contribute. We are utilizing an online platform that makes giving easy, including employer match.

If you’re in, all we need is your name, email address and a headshot/selfie which you can send here: https://forms.gle/FbgSBKzoQ9DEhmVc8 A personal fundraising page will be built for you on a very user friendly platform. We’ll even provide the email template for you to use!

In the meantime, donate, react to this post and share! https://give.classy.org/BlackECEJuneteenth

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Lift Every Voice Impact Report

BlackECE was featured in the LA Times!

BlackECE in the News: Black and Latina workers bear the brunt of California’s low child-care wages, report finds February 13, 2024 The Los Angeles Times has featured a groundbreaking study
Black Californians United for Early Care and Education Response to Gavin Newsom Governor 2024-2025 Budget Release

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce. Black Californians United for Early Care & Education January 11, 2024 We thank Governor

BlackECE officially has full-time staff!

BlackECE officially has full-time staff! Keisha Nzewi, Woman in Charge October 6, 2023 BlackECE is celebrating 3 months of full-time staff! Since July, co-founder and Woman in Charge, Keisha Nzewi,

Lift Every Voice 2023

Lift Every Voice October 6, 2023 The very first financial support BlackECE received was from the new Practioners’ Voice Fund, to uplift the voices of the Black child care workforce

What Happens When Childcare Centers Close?​

Childcare is the backbone of our communities, and one childcare provider's story sheds light on the struggles many face every day. In a recent article by Word in Black, BriTanya

BlackECE officially has full-time staff!

BlackECE officially has full-time staff!

Keisha Nzewi, Woman in Charge

October 6, 2023

BlackECE is celebrating 3 months of full-time staff! Since July, co-founder and Woman in Charge, Keisha Nzewi, stopped doing double duty, and is living her dream leading this Black centered organization. Since August, co-founder and Woman That Makes Things Happen, Samantha Thompson, has literally been making things happen. The depth and breadth of her ECE skills and knowledge, and penchant for strategy and organization, is the perfect compliment to Keisha’s depth and breadth of experience, and penchant for dreaming big. Congratulations Sam and Keisha!

Keisha (kay-isha) Nzewi (en-zay-we) is one of our co-founders and Woman in Charge of BlackECE! Keisha was born and raised in the central valley but has spent her adult life in the bay area (except for one year of VISTA service in Sacramento), graduating from UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. She’s worked on policy issues most of her career, including tobacco control, anti-hunger policies, and child care. She is a board member of Mt. Diablo Unified School District, currently serving as President. She’s been married to a geologist (she didn’t know people did that for a living either) for almost 18 years, and has been mother to a budding broadway star and toxicologist for 15 years. 

When BlackECEs cofounders started gathering in 2021, we never would have imagined we would have an actual organization up and running such a short time later. I certainly didn’t imagine I’d be leading it. But here I am, living the dream! Getting to show up in my work everyday as my authentic self, standing up for our youngest Black children and the adults who love and care for them-are you sure the writers are on strike? Because I couldn’t have written this story any better.” – Woman in Charge

Samantha C. Thompson, MBA is one of our co-founders and BlackECE’s Woman That Makes Things Happen! Raised to value education, hard work, self-discipline, honesty, integrity, and ambition, Sam’s personal values and professional experience are what make her a perfect fit to help lead BlackECE. She holds an Associate of Arts degree in Paralegal Studies from Merced College, a Bachelors of Science degree in Human Services and Masters of Business Administration, both from University of Phoenix. As a bi-racial Black woman, Samantha was prepared by her parents for the obstacles she was sure to encounter, witnessing first hand the differing experiences of her white mother compared to her Black father. However, as a child raised in a multicultural, military community, she knows the cultural affirmation every Black child deserves can be achieved. 

She and Herschel, her husband of 26 years, have two adult children: Alexis who is a school counselor and Desmond, who is pursuing a degree in Sports Communication. 

I’m so elated to be an inaugural leader of BlackECE! My entire career in the ECE field has been dedicated to ensuring systems and programs are rooted in equitable, diverse, and inclusive practices, especially for Black children, Indigenous children, and children of color. Now, getting to unapologetically focus on Black children, their families, and early educators, I’m living my best life! On top of that, I get to annoy Keisha as a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan? Chef’s kiss!” – Woman That Makes Things Happen

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Lift Every Voice Impact Report

Read More

BlackECE was featured in the LA Times!

BlackECE in the News: Black and Latina workers bear the brunt of California’s low child-care wages, report finds February 13, 2024 The Los Angeles Times has featured a groundbreaking study
Read More
Black Californians United for Early Care and Education Response to Gavin Newsom Governor 2024-2025 Budget Release

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce. Black Californians United for Early Care & Education January 11, 2024 We thank Governor
Read More

Lift Every Voice 2023

Lift Every Voice

October 6, 2023

The very first financial support BlackECE received was from the new Practioners’ Voice Fund, to uplift the voices of the Black child care workforce to address the racial wage gap. Black child care providers are paid .78 less than their white counterparts. One major reason is that Black early educators are more likely to care for infants and toddlers, the least paid role in the field.

Lift Every Voice Retreat 2023

September 24, 2023

This Month, we launched Lift Every Voice, welcoming nearly 40 Black child care educators for a weekend of joy, restoration, and strategizing. We can show you better than we can tell you!

Are you a Black child care professional, ready to join this movement? ​

Black Californians United for Early Care and Education Response to Gavin Newsom Governor 2024-2025 Budget Release

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce

Governor Newsom keeps child care spending, makes no commitments to Black children, families, child care workforce. Black Californians United for Early Care & Education January 11, 2024 We thank Governor
Read More

Lift Every Voice Impact Report

Read More

BlackECE was featured in the LA Times!

BlackECE in the News: Black and Latina workers bear the brunt of California’s low child-care wages, report finds February 13, 2024 The Los Angeles Times has featured a groundbreaking study
Read More

What Happens When Childcare Centers Close?​

Childcare is the backbone of our communities, and one childcare provider’s story sheds light on the struggles many face every day. In a recent article by Word in Black, BriTanya Brown, the founder of Our Loving Village in Stamford, Texas, opened our eyes to the remarkable, often underappreciated work childcare providers do.

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