Beyond Diversity: Equity & Excellence in Early Childhood Education


This session will engage participants in activities and dialogue regarding racial equity and early childhood education.  This session will help participants understand the role of early educators in promoting developmentally appropriate racial and ethnic socialization for young children, and how these practices are related to aspects of effective teaching and children’s developmental outcomes. We will also explore the larger context of organizational climate and other systemic policies that ultimately impact teachers’ and children’s experiences. This experience will enhance the considerations a nurturer, provider and teacher makes in their planning and practices.  This experience will also provide a forum to investigate the collective experiences, skills, and talents of the participants to discover best practices in the field of equity in early childhood education.

Arizona Alliance of Black

School Educators

Dr. Eva Marie Shivers is the Director of the Institute for Child Development Research & Social Change, a non-profit action research firm at the Indigo Cultural Center. This center focuses on exploring families’ culturally adaptive responses to poverty. Dr. Shivers has served as Principal Investigator on numerous research studies that involve participatory-based research with community agencies and diverse cultural communities. Dr. Shivers received her Ph.D. from UCLA’s Department of Education, Psychological Studies in Education. She also holds a law degree from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.


Dr. Shivers’ research interests include: early education workforce issues; teacher-child attachment relationships in early education; and other early education issues involving race, culture and family sensitive care. She has presented her research on race, culture and child development throughout the country and has numerous peer-reviewed publications.  

She is currently finishing up a federally funded longitudinal study on the effect of cultural continuity between home and school on young children’s transition to kindergarten. Dr. Shivers also provides research consultation to federal, state and local policy makers – especially around the issues of racial equity in early childhood systems building, and how young children’s experiences with race in the education setting impacts their development.