What We Do

Working with practitioners and policymakers, the Equity Research Action Coalition will pursue research that promotes and supports the healthy development of Black children across the African diaspora and other children of color. The Coalition will focus on developing science-based evidence that can be used to inform practice and policy aimed at eradicating the impact of racism, and all its consequences, on the lives of Black and other minoritized children, families, and communities.

Learn more about our current activities and research below.

Black Infant and Toddler Equity Project
Through collaboration with national, state and local coalitions and organizations, the Equity Research Action Coalition will identify, track and align strategies to strengthen the focus on protecting, promoting, and preserving the well being, health, wealth, access, and experiences of Black families and their families through anti-racist and cultural wealth policy-making framework and communication.

Building equity and access by including family child care in universal pre-kindergarten expansion: A multi-site study of pre-kindergarten family child care initiatives

This multi-year project, in partnership with Erikson Institute and the University of Delaware, seeks to understand how best to value, compensate, and authentically integrate the family child care (FCC) workforce and approach in future efforts to build and expand more equitable PreK systems. This project will involve focus groups, surveys, and case studies to understand how FCC is being integrated into PreK efforts.

African-Centered Racial Equity Justice Project Embracing Culturally Responsive Practices to Improve Early Learning and Child Outcomes
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
This project will develop an African-centered, culturally responsive practice guide with specific strategies, exemplars, and materials with connected professional learning modules to guide effective implementation. The ultimate and long-term goal is to increase Black children’s social, cognitive, and emotional skills (e.g., racial identity, engagement, learning motivation, regulation), leading to strong academic and social competence and school success.

National Evaluation Partner for the Educare Learning Network Implementation Study
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
The Educare Learning Network, a growing coast-to-coast consortium of state-of-the-art, full-day, year-round schools funded mostly by existing public dollars, serves children from birth to 5 years who are at risk for school failure. Each Educare school provides its community’s most vulnerable children and families, particularly families living in poverty, with instructional and family supports that develop early skills and nurture strong parent-child relationships to create the foundation for successful learning.

RISER-RAPID-EC-Educare Learning Network: Black Families Partnership Project
Imaginable Futures Services, LLC
The purpose of this multi-organization partnership is to leverage existing collaborations, expertise, and work to bolster all three partnering organizations’ activities to mitigate the impacts of this double pandemic—COVID-19 and racism—on Black families with children, birth to age 5.

Research-Policy and Practice Collaboration
NCDHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE)
The purpose of this project is to provide DCDEE with expertise in research and analysis related to short- and long-term policy questions focused on young children’s education and development.

ECERS-3: Identifying Gaps and Equity Challenges.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
This project will include a series of studies of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Third Edition (ECERS-3; Harms et al., 2015) to interrogate and provide solutions related to racial equity with a particular lens towards anti-bias and culturally grounded practices.

Educare School–Family Partnership Justice Project
Buffett Early Childhood Fund
The overall purpose of this project is to conduct a pilot study examining the impact of Family Engagement Specialists’ (FES) beliefs and attitudes (e.g., bias) on their engagement with families.

Effects of Implicit Bias on Children’s Early Outcomes
University of Kansas Center for Research, Inc. (KUCR)
The purpose of this project is to examine the relationship between implicit bias, teacher expectations, teacher–child interactions, and child outcomes.

Equity-Focused Research-Action Coalition and Repository Development
WK Kellogg Foundation
The goal of this project is to support the development of an interdisciplinary, multi-organizational research action coalition to identify anti-racist, culturally-sustaining, and asset-focused factors that ensure that Black children, their families, and communities thrive.

From the Womb to Cradle: How Racism Influences the Development of Infants and Preschoolers
The purpose of this collaboration with Boston University is to develop and disseminate various products focused on the effects of racism during infancy through early childhood (birth to age 5) for racially marginalized children and families, specifically those that are Black, Latine, Indigenous, or Asian.

Exploring the Link between Culturally Responsive Practices and Black and Latinx Student Outcomes
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
This supplemental study provides preliminary information on whether culturally responsive practices are predictive of racially marginalized children’s outcomes and whether teacher factors, such as partnership with families, are related to culturally responsive practices.

Starting Them off on the Right Path: Utilizing Home Visiting to Address Race-based Trauma and Support Children’s Racial Identity Formation
Parents as Teachers National Center, Inc.
This project will gather perspectives from current Parents As Teachers families and parent educators. This is a developmental evaluation to understand how Parents as Teachers (PAT) could address race-based trauma and stressors and support the positive racial identity formation for young children.

American Rescue Plan: Are Families of Color Feeling the Relief?
Pritzker Family Foundation
This project aims to have timely data about a significant policy bill slated to cut poverty by almost half, especially for families with young children. It will examine whether receiving direct payment is disproportionately benefiting Black and Latine families, economically and psychologically (e.g., perception of hardship). Be sure to read the microbriefs released from this project.


Black Infant and Toddler Equity Project
Pritzker Family Foundation
The purpose of this project as part of the Equity Research Action Coalition is to identify strengths-based programs and policies that support the well-being of Black parents and their infants and toddlers during the pandemic.

Early Care and Education Equity Analysis
Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation
Burroughs Wellcome Fund
The purpose of this project is to engage with grassroots and grasstops early education partners to identify and conduct a landscape analysis of active North Carolina policies and regulations focused on young children and their families (birth to age 5) with a focus on policies that show effect or promise in mitigating (or exacerbate) racial disparities in early care and education.

Evaluation of ECIC Child Care Innovation Fund
Early Childhood Investment Corporation
The purpose of this project is to conduct the year 1 evaluation of the ECIC Child Care Innovation Fund. Guided by a racial equity evaluation framework, the evaluation will determine how this fund influences policy changes to address racial disparities in wages and families’ access to affordable, high-quality early care and education.

National Center on Parent, Family and Community Engagement 
Start Early
The goal of this project is to support family well-being, effective family and community engagement, and children’s school readiness, including transition to kindergarten.

Researchers Investigating Sociocultural Equity and Race (RISER) Network for Research, Policy, and Practice on Black Child Development and Learning
Boston University (funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)
This funding will support establishing the RISER Network and its work to create research that will inform policy and practice focused on racial justice and health and education equity by (1) raising awareness about the heterogeneity of the black/African-American population; (2) examining black/African-American children’s access to high-quality education; (3) investigating the social determinants of health for blacks/African-Americans; and (4) connecting research on early childhood education (ECE) and health.

UNC Public Policy-ECIC Early Childhood Racial Equity Research-Policy Partnership Program
Early Childhood Investment Corporation
The goal of this partnership between UNC Public Policy and Early Childhood Investment Corporation is to provide authentic projects for emerging early childhood research and policy scholars to engage in during their graduate and post-graduate training. Fellows will engage in racial equity-centered projects with policy-relevant implications.


Equity Research Coalition