SRCD’s Focus on Anti-Racism: A Note from SRCD’s Executive Director, Saima Hedrick


As we inch our way forward to healthier and safer times, I want to highlight two important events for May that are of significance to the Society’s commitment to anti-racism.

The first is that the month of May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, designated by the United States Congress in 1992 as a time to pay tribute to generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). Given the uptick in violence in the United States this year, it is increasingly important to recognize the AAPI community.

Last year at this same time, SRCD co-sponsored a webinar with the Asian Caucus to give parents, caregivers, and educators a chance to ask leading child development experts pressing questions on how to help AAPI children during the coronavirus pandemic. The webinar and additional science-based resources on this topic for parents and caregivers are available for viewing and sharing. SRCD stands against all forms of racism and continues to support this community with a statement of solidarity issued this Spring.

As an Asian American who emigrated to the town of Teaneck, NJ in 1990, these events have had a significant impact on me. They have strengthened my resolve to create safe spaces and opportunity for underrepresented, and to build systems that will support SRCD’s commitment to inclusion.

This May, we also recognize the somber anniversary of George Floyd’s death and it too reminds us of the systemic racism in our country. While there is still much work to be done, his death sparked the beginning of a movement that has impacted the world’s progress to confront and overcome racism.

The work that needs to be done to create inclusive and supportive systems begins by looking within. With the help of the SRCD Caucuses, the Society is continuously improving its programming and processes to focus on supporting underrepresented groups. However, we need to get a better understanding of the various backgrounds represented in our membership and how we can expand the Society’s programming to reflect this. The recent launch of SRCD’s Diversity Reviewer Database and Towards 2044 Scholars program are a few examples of programs that came from a hard look at the data, and there is still more work to do be done.

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