Tapestry Education Conference (TEC): Reflecting on Anti-racism in the Early Years
We were delighted to hold the free online Tapestry Education Conference (TEC) on the 25th of March 2021.
The theme for this event was Reflecting on Anti-racism in the Early Years.
We talk a lot in the Early Years about reaching out to every child and every family, and to each of our colleagues. But without a deeper understanding of our own unconscious biases, of how each of us are a product of our surroundings, experiences, and of a society steeped in white privilege, we cannot truly see and support every child, family and colleague.
There is much work to be done, and it must keep going: the work of being an anti-racist and an ally, within the early years and beyond. Because we know that the work done by early years professionals reaches far beyond their setting. It unfolds in each child, into each family home, into their local community, and into the adults they will become and the future society they will live in.
This conference has been part of that ongoing work – for us here at Tapestry and the Foundation Stage Forum, and, we hope, for all of you who were able to attend live or by watching the recording available below.
After an introductory conversation with co-host Liz Pemberton, the speakers, Shaddai Tembo and Faith Chow, presented their talks, each followed by a short Q&A. Faith and Shaddai were then joined by Liz for a panel discussion, reflecting together on Anti-racism in the Early Years.
You will find Faith and Shaddai’s bio, talk description and downloadable presentations further down this page.
We are so glad to be able to share the conference recording with you. This is a valuable resource, wherever you are on your anti-racist journey. Whether you attended the event and want to revisit and reflect on it, or you are watching it for the first time, we hope this video will enable you to start, and continue, important conversations about anti-racism in your setting and at home.
We have made the recording available as quickly as possible. We are working on another version with subtitles and BSL that will be available soon.
Liz Pemberton runs a training and consultancy company, The Black Nursery Manager Ltd, whose mission is to promote inclusive practice in the Early Years education sector, with particular focus on how race, culture and anti-racism should be considered in this practice. She has a Masters degree in Early Childhood Studies and Qualified Teacher Status and has taught Early Childhood Studies and Health and Social Care to secondary school and sixth form students. Liz has a background in Nursery management.
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LinkedIn: Liz Pemberton
Meet the Speakers
Faith is an Early Years Specialist Speech and Language Therapist with specialist interest areas in bilingualism and autism. She is passionate about developing and promoting culturally inclusive and responsive clinical practice, and championing bilingualism and multilingualism.
She is also the founder of British Chinese Biz, a grassroots British Chinese advocacy organisation.
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LinkedIn: Faith Chow
About Faith’s Talk
Celebrating racial, linguistic and cultural diversity: things to consider and a starting point for reflective practice
This session will give an overview of things to consider when celebrating children’s racial, linguistic and cultural diversity in early years settings. Faith will discuss why these areas are important and the impact they can have on children’s sense of identity and language development. Faith will outline some practical examples for celebrating racial, linguistic and cultural diversity. She will share some ideas and questions designed to promote ongoing reflective practice.Download Faith's Presentation
Shaddai Tembo is a lecturer at Perth College UHI and doctoral student at the University of the West of Scotland. His current research examines equalities and young children’s identity. Shaddai started off as an early years practitioner and previously directed the Bristol Men in EY Network. He is a trustee for Early Education, part of the #BirthToFiveMatters project, co-convenes the SERA EY Network and writes independently at CriticalEarlyYears.org.
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About Shaddai’s Talk
In light of the recent Black Lives Matter movement, this session will address the contemporary climate surrounding race and racisms before examining how these forms of discrimination and prejudice are experienced in practice within early childhood spaces. Shaddai will outline ways to understand some of the tensions in interpreting racism and work through the current policy context before sharing case studies intended to continue the discussion beyond this session.Download Shaddai's Presentation