Early Risers: A Podcast from Little Moments Count

Early Risers: A Podcast from Little Moments Count

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Early Risers is a podcast from Little Moments Count and MPR with frank facts, engaging stories and real how-tos for anyone who cares about raising children with a clear-eyed understanding of cultural differences, race and implicit bias.

More about the Early Risers podcast and host Dianne Haulcy, President and CEO at The Family Partnership. 

Additional Resources

Video: Teaching Anti-Racism: Making Sense of Race and Racism for Young Children

From Little Moments Count: Racial Justice Resources

From NAEYC: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families

PDF: Children Are Not Colorblind: How Young Children Learn About Race

Think Small Institute: Additional Resources

Online discussions: MPR News Raising Kids in Minnesota group on Facebook.

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The monthly Early Risers e-newsletter provides curated content and resources designed to help parents and caregivers understand how young children learn about race. Inside are stories, tips, and suggestions for having better conversations about race and differences with the little ones in our lives.

Understanding Racial Identity in Young Children

March 20, 2024

“Racial identity” refers to a person’s understanding of different racial identities, one’s preferences for a particular racial identity and how identities are ranked in their family, their society and in their own mind. Toni Sturdivant has spent her career developing a library of books and a collection of teaching ideas for the early childhood classroom that will help young children establish a positive racial identity. In this episode, she talks about her work and her particular focus on boosting the confidence and resilience of young children of color.

An Anti-Bias Approach to Classroom Management

March 6, 2024

One of the hardest parts of teaching is managing the classroom to promote learning, keep order and inspire students. Many approaches to classroom management are punitive and reproachful. Reddy describes a different approach that–at its core– celebrates students and gives them opportunities to practice their identities.

Grassroots Work on Structural Racism

February 21, 2024

Structural racism is different than interpersonal racism. It is the set of policies and practices that put BIPOC communities at a disadvantage from the earliest stages of life. So how can we work in our early childhood communities to identify structural racism and make change so that young people - BIPOC and white - are no longer harmed by structural racism? Jen Neitzel shares examples from her work in communities across the United States.

Making the Classroom Reflect the Community

February 7, 2024

Theressa Lenear was practicing anti-bias education long before it was widely known as an approach to early learning. As a young Black teacher in Alaska, she tapped into her intuition to guide her practices with young children. She created a classroom-wide deep respect for her students’ cultures. She shares her perspectives on how to support BIPOC children in underserved communities.

Being in Community With Children

January 24, 2024

Many programs that offer innovation in education ask teachers to adopt a new curriculum or implement a new procedure in their classroom. But when it comes to anti-bias work, Veronica Reynoso says there is no new curriculum. Instead, you need to be in community with children and disrupt the biases and stereotypes they pick up from the world. She explains how she does this and how the children respond.

Making Space for Teachers on Race

January 10, 2024

If we adults want to work with young children on issues related to race and racism, we first need to work with ourselves. Marie Lister describes the learning communities she facilitates with teachers to help them become aware of, and address, their own biases. She discusses how the work adults do in these communal learning spaces can benefit young children immeasurably for years to come.

Parent Highlights with Dr. Richard Lee

June 14, 2023

In this episode, Dianne is joined by Dr. Richard Lee, a distinguished professor of psychology and director of the Asian American Studies program at the University of Minnesota. Together, they explore some of the parenting stories featured in season four of Early Risers. Dianne and Dr. Lee also share valuable insights to help parents discuss race and racism with the young children in their lives.

Parenting Through Race and Identity: A Somali American Mother's Story

May 31, 2023

In this episode of Early Risers, we delve into the parenting journey of Ayan Omar, a Somali American mother living in St. Cloud, Minnesota with her husband and two young daughters. As an interracial and interfaith couple, Ayan and her husband have faced unique challenges in raising their children.

Navigating Parenthood as Black Parents in a Majority White Community

May 17, 2023

Cecilia Amadou is a Ghanaian mother raising her son in the Fargo-Moorhead area of Minnesota. In this episode of Early Risers, Cecilia shares her experiences navigating parenthood and conversations about race and racism in a community that is over 90% white. As Black parents with roots in Africa, Cecilia and her husband offer a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities of raising a child in a predominantly white environment.

Parenting as a Black and Biracial Single Mother in Minnesota

May 3, 2023

In this episode of Early Risers, host Dianne speaks with Acacia Ward, a young Black and biracial single mother of three living in Rochester, Minnesota. Acacia shares her experiences growing up in a predominantly white community and how she's navigating conversations about race and identity with her children.