Sponsored Early Education Presentations at CAAASA Conference

Apr 19, 2021

DIAL EE is proud to be sponsoring 3 sessions at the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators 2021 Professional Development Summit that will focus on equity. These sessions are:

Research, Policy and Practice: Decolonizing Early Care and Education

The care and education of young children in this nation is rooted in anti-black racism. This workshop will explore the history of child care, the harmful policies born of this racist history, and how we can all contribute to unbuilding this racist system. Special attention will be given to the early care and education workforce, especially Black women, as well as the co-option of “quality” by white-supremacist value.


Keisha Nzewi
Director of Public Policy
California Child Care Resource & Referral Network

LaWanda Wesley
Director of Quality Enhancement & Professional Development
Early Childhood Education Department, Oakland Unified School District

Ashley Williams
Senior Policy Analyst
Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, University of California, Berkeley

Shoestrings: MH Program Disrupting the Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline

The phenomenon of overly identifying African American students as discipline problems within the K-12 system, now extends down to preschool. Preschool expulsions grew to three times higher than the rate reported in K-12 public schools between 2001-2012. The impacts for students inappropriately disciplined include higher risk for special education placement, continued disciplinary actions, and academic failure which can lead to incarceration. Participants will learn about a research based early education multi-tiered mental health solution – Shoestrings.



Crystal Hawkins
Founder/Senior Consultant
C. Hawkins & Associates

Silent Suspensions: How Do We Identify and Disrupt the Practice?

Researchers reported preschoolers were expelled at rates three times higher than school-aged children. The Office of Civil Rights showed that African American children represented 18 percent of public preschool enrollment, but 48% of preschoolers received multiple out-of-school suspensions. This accounts for a small portion of the overall preschool population and does not account for the students unofficially expelled, e.g., not a good fit. Participants will explore how to identify and solve this phenomenon.


Christie Herrera
Executive Director of Early Learning
Early Childhood Education Department, Oakland Unified School District

Jason Okonofua
Assistant Professor
Psychology Department, University of California, Berkeley