Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

New DEI Chair and Committee for the 2023-2024 School Year

DEI is essential to bringing students and families the best early childhood education experience possible. We share in the responsibility and goal of having our preschool mirror the richly diverse, multicultural, and complex composition of the community at-large.

In May 2023, the AUCP membership voted to create an official diversity, equity, and inclusion effort at AUCP by adding a DEI Chair to the AUCP Board of Directors. This was done in no small part because the foundation for this work has long rooted AUCP. From its inception, AUCP has been dedicated to fostering compassion, confidence, and connection – not only among our adorable students but across their families and trusted grown-ups in the community. We all share in the responsibility of teaching our youngest family members to embrace difference and uphold dignity for themselves and others.

In this inaugural year for the DEI Initiative at AUCP, the DEI Committee will consider goals, objectives, and an overall vision. In short, we’ll try and answer the question: what can efforts towards diversity, equity, and inclusion look like at our cooperative preschool?

In answering this question, the DEI Committee will seek to better understand AUCP’s current state of DEI, and expand and enhance its current DEI efforts. In this initial build year, the committee will work collaboratively with AUCP leadership and families to set forth a vision, a mission, and goals and objectives for AUCP. See below for our current DEI statement and a set of definitions.

DEI Statement

At AUCP, our goal is to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment that celebrates and respects the unique backgrounds, abilities, and perspectives of all children and families. We strive to foster a sense of belonging, promote equity, and empower our students to become compassionate, confident, and socially-conscious individuals. We strive for our efforts to be intentional and guided by how we share the responsibility of having our preschool mirror the richly diverse, multicultural, and complex composition of the community at-large.

Staff and teachers, the Board of Directors, students, and their caregivers will all endeavor to integrate DEI awareness and policies into our day-to-day lives, including through: continuing education, cultivating relationships with community partners and organizations, and curating the Antiracism Book Club and the Diverse Lending Library. Guided by the four principles of anti-bias education – identity, diversity, justice, and action – we strive to empower our students to become lifelong learners who embrace differences, challenge biases, and advocate for justice.

DEI Statement (preschooler)

At AUCP, everyone belongs, plays, and helps each other learn in their own time and way. In our community, we work for everyone to feel safe, encouraged, and respected for who they are. We are all the same in some ways; we are all different in some ways – and that is wonderful! 



The representation of different and unique identities, characteristics, experiences, and perspectives reflected through, but not limited to: ability, age, race, national origin, color, language, culture, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, physical appearance, education level, occupation, economic status, political affiliation, marital status, and family composition.

Diversity (preschooler)

Diversity means people are different in many ways. People can come from different places and have different types of families. People can have different languages and ways of speaking and can believe different things. We have different skin color, hair color, eye color – people’s bodies can look, behave, and work differently, and people’s brains can work differently, too.   The ways we are different make us unique, and diversity in our school means that all different types of people feel welcome. Say: “We’re all the same; we’re all different, and that is wonderful.”


The continuous effort to increase access, resources, and opportunities with the intention to create an environment where every individual can thrive and participate meaningfully. Equity is predicated on acknowledging that every person has a different background and different needs.

Equity (preschooler)

Equity means always learning that there are many ways to do something and that each friend might choose or need something different. When we are curious and open to differences and accept our friends just as they are, it builds our compassion and confidence. Say: “This is how they need to play right now.” “This is what our friend needs to participate.”


To create experiences for all children and their families to develop a sense of belonging, to foster positive social connections, and to reach each child and family’s full potential.

Inclusion (preschooler)

Inclusion means inviting everyone to play, learn, and be together, in a way that makes sure everyone feels they belong and are important. We want to be kind to everyone, listen to their ideas, and make sure each person feels free to be their best self. Say: “Everyone belongs, and everyone deserves kindness.”

Opportunities for Reflection and Improvement

From the president to the membership chairs, to social and fundraising, we all share the common goal of making our school as inclusive and welcoming as possible. To date, AUCP leadership has begun to explore principles of anti-bias, diversity, and equity, as it considers how to make meaningful change and improvement to current processes and endeavors. Examples of this work include: updating our internal forms and materials with more inclusive language, conducting short DEI exercises among Board members to discuss topics of race and equity, and increasing the number of BIPOC-owned and minority-owned local businesses for our fundraising efforts. There has also been a special focus on providing DEI-related continuing education opportunities to our families. Past and future examples include: A “How to Talk to Preschoolers about Race” workshop, a documentary screening of Reflecting on Anti-bias Education in Action: The Early Years, grown-up book club selections, and webinars about race and anti-bias. 

Inside the Classroom

While AUCP has always centered around fostering confidence, compassion, and curiosity, this school year, AUCP staff have engaged in ongoing conversations about how to make the classroom an even more inclusive and open space for our preschoolers to learn and feel seen. Incorporating key principles and teaching frameworks from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and other resources into teacher reflection and planning, AUCP staff seek to reflect on what materials and lessons they can use to integrate NAEYC’s principles of anti-bias (identity, diversity, justice, and activism) into our school.  Some illustrative examples of how teachers are fostering this kind of play include: learning exercises on the concepts of same and different, engaging students on their family composition, exposure to songs and phrases in different languages, bilingual in-class read-alouds, activities related to diversity in types of housing, practicing mixed-age play together, and encouraging students to speak up and share their thoughts and feelings on fairness. 

Outside the Classroom

The AUCP Antiracism Book Club for Preschoolers, affectionately known as the ”ABC,” first started in February 2021. The mission of the Antiracism Book Club is to explore age-appropriate literature to engage our children in issues of racial equity and diversity. 

Founded and led by AUCP grown-ups, it is a forum where AUCP families can read and discuss preschool-aged books written for or about BIPOC characters and communities by BIPOC authors. An AUCP grown-up leads each monthly meeting with a read aloud and includes questions for the kids. Our ABC books are selected to increase awareness about the rich diversity in our world. One of the best ways to experience books that act as “windows and mirrors” is to rely on storytellers who tell their own stories, in their own voices. The ABC invites families to engage in multicultural exposure and have meaningful discussions about race and inequity. These conversations can be uncomfortable and difficult, as well as powerful and transformative.

For our young students, we explain the ABC’s purpose: 

The world has many different people, and each person is valuable and deserves respect. In the past and still today, people were told untrue and unfair ideas and stories that certain skin colors made you smarter, prettier, or better. Because of those stories, people have been treated unfairly. This complicated and difficult problem is hard to solve, and can feel like untangling a big knot. When we all learn and work together, we make the world more fair.  The Antiracism Book Club reads stories by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) authors about their communities. By listening to honest stories, asking questions, and wondering together, we understand more about ourselves and the world. 

Our ABC efforts have grown far beyond monthly read-alouds! We have hosted local BIPOC authors for special readings and partnered with black-owned and other local bookstores for fundraising efforts. We celebrate each anniversary of the Antiracism Book Club with a birthday party, complete with high-quality stories highlighting the essential need to provide a wide range of children’s books. 

Diverse Lending Library (DLL)

Additionally, our parent-led, donation-driven Diverse Lending Library (DLL) is a resource that enables AUCP families to borrow board and picture books by both BIPOC authors and other authors to embrace the beauty of difference. Families (and community members) donate books from a curated selection and each month’s ABC reading is added to the collection. The DLL encourages families to explore the joy and wonder of books at their own pace; at home, on the playground, before and after school.

If you would like to learn more about the ABC or the DLL, please reach out to aucpbookclub@gmail.com.  For more information on DEI at AUCP generally, please contact aucpdei@gmail.com.