As infant mental health clinicians who have both been in the field for over a decade, we’ve found that the Infant Crier has always been a consistent part of our experience. It has informed our work and has created conversations and deeper relationships that have allowed us to feel more connected within the greater MI-AIMH community. As the new editors of the Crier, we hope to continue to cultivate a space in which all readers will see themselves reflected in the writings of their colleagues and that it will be an avenue to build their own unique connections and relationships within themselves, the organization and the field.
We’re trained early in our careers to be curious about the interactions between caregivers and young children. Therefore, we have an obligation to understand our own lens, how our cultural experiences shape how we understand and believe what the care of young children involves. We see the writing process as another way to channel the reflective process. It is a way of bringing the implicit to light. When we write, it is from our own perspective. As editors, we will be inviting prospective authors to be more intentional in thinking about who they are, who the other is and how that impacts not only how a relationship unfolded but how they can share it with the broader community through their writing.
The Crier is a tangible record of our history. As the new editors, we’ve spent time deepening our understanding of the history and intent of the Crier and value the work that has been done in support of representation across our field. However we recognize that more work lies ahead for the Crier to fully become an equitable space. As we will be inviting potential writers to be aware of their lens and what their limitations might be, as two white women editing the Crier we are committed to doing the same.
Our first action step is to create an editorial team of diverse infant and early childhood professionals across the state to ensure that our issue themes, articles and authors reflect multiple perspectives, a wider range of experience and more inclusive wisdom and knowledge. Our hope is this team will open the door to authors we haven’t yet heard from to highlight the range of voices that make up who we are.
Working within the infant and early childhood field we often think about the past, its impact on the present and how to intentionally affect the future. We hope the Crier will be an outlet for our field to be thinking about where we’ve been and where we’re going and that it can continue to be the record keeper of our history.
Danielle Davey, LMSW, IMH-E® & Kristyn Driver, IMH-E®, Infant Mental Health Mentor-Clinical
As the editors of the Infant Crier, it feels important to highlight the Commitment Statement created by the Centering Equity Committee, as we believe the Crier is another reflective space where we can uphold commitments to equity and inclusion throughout our community.
The MI-AIMH Centering Equity Committee, which is comprised of the MI-AIMH Executive Director, Central Office Staff, Board Members and Leaders, and Members, declare the following Commitment Statement:
As a committee, we commit to prioritizing diversity, racial equity and inclusion in all of MI-AIMH’s decision making, policies and practices. We recognize that actions and practices that MI-AIMH as a system has created, developed and engaged-in over time have perpetuated racist and inequitable practices, which has directly caused harm to Black, Brown, and Indigenous People of Color. The MI-AIMH Centering Equity Committee will work to dismantle white supremacy and create a foundation of culturally sensitive, anti-oppressive practices within the organization and among its members. The committee is dedicated to an ongoing critical review of all information disseminated by the organization that excludes, divides and is rooted in oppressive practices. We commit to reflecting and adapting our current practices and systems that have caused harm. The committee will work closely with the broader organization to ensure that voices from all races, cultures and viewpoints are represented within all parts of the organization. We value the diversity and unique perspectives among our membership and the families we serve. The committee will be intentional in amplifying the voices of professionals and communities that have long been excluded from the core of the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health field and the MI-AIMH organization.
Initial Action Steps of the Centering Equity Committee:
- To hold the MI-AIMH organization and its leaders accountable to uphold equitable practices
- To intentionally embed Irving Harris Foundation’s Diversity-Informed Tenets for Work with Infants, Children and Families into all practices carried out by MI-AIMH
- To revise racist and oppressive materials, publications and communications
- To cultivate reflective spaces to engage in ongoing dialogue in regards to oppression, power, privilege, bias, white supremacy and racism that allows for a culturally reparative parallel process to unfold that reaches systems, professionals, communities, families and children