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Decolonizing Data and Language: Advancing Racial Equity and Systemic Solutions

Feb 14, 2022 11:30AM – Feb 14, 2022 1PM

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This 90-minute interactive workshop explains how deficit language dehumanizes and deflects from the structural racism and flaws baked into our systems, and offers ways to effectively use data to illuminate systemic barriers and reveal root causes.

Using labels, deficit language and problematic data infographics when advocating for children and families can have unintended consequences that dehumanizes people and populations. This common practice places the onus of systemic problems on those individuals experiencing the negative consequences of structural racism.

Participants will explore (1) the dangers of labels and “othering;” (2) deficit language terms; (3) applying a structural analysis to data and using organizational data to focus on internal structures and processes; and (4) how language changes can advance public awareness of the need to create systemic solutions to systemic problems.

This session was developed for professionals who are engaged in creating systemic change and will provide a lens that helps to:

  • Stop the psychological process of demonizing communities of people for system flaws and circumstantial conditions outside of individual control
  • Advocate for changes to policies, systems, and funding at the local, county, and state levels
  • Identify gaps and barriers in services and processes
  • Better align resources and tailor support to address root causes


Penny Smith, Director, Early Childhood Leadership Academy
Cristina Pacione-Zayas, PhD, Senior Policy Advisor

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20% off for groups of five or more. The group discount is applied when 5 or more people are registered at one time.

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