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From Community Organizing to Movement Building: The Story Behind the District of Columbia’s Big Wins for Children & Families

Archived Meeting Resources
January 10, 2023

This session was presented during BUILD 2022 National Conference.

Child care is both essential to our economy and the foundation of young children’s education and development. Despite its critical importance, child care educators, overwhelmingly women of color, are among the most undervalued employees, earning poverty wages. The District of Columbia is the first jurisdiction to equitably compensate the child care workforce by paying child care educators wages on par with public elementary educators, while also increasing housing assistance for children and families experiencing homelessness. This seminal victory was years in the making, and came about as a result of meticulous planning, skilled community organizing, and thoughtful cross-sector engagement and coalition-building, culminating in the enactment of legislation that fundamentally changes the financing structure of child care compensation. This session will take you behind the scenes with leaders who will share how they engaged child care educators and built an impressive coalition and movement that holds lessons for how it can be done in other states and communities, and that sets the stage for future policy wins for the District’s children and families.

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