Early childhood education and the importance of acknowledging privilege (Entry One) S1E8
Special guest spotlight:
Dr. Hawani Negussie has worked in the fields of Early Childhood Education, Child Development Infant Mental Health, Program Development, Assessment and Administration, holding various positions in the birth-21 (PK-16) educational settings. Her practice is informed by her wide range of experiences, education and training with leading institutions both nationally and internationally.
She is a published author who serves on various boards and frequently presents at conferences, community-based meetings and in collaboration with peers in the field.
Dr. Negussie’s research is focused on the examination of culturally relevant pedagogy in early childhood education programs, effects of globalization on indigenous learning systems and the application of play in pre-primary education. Her extensive work with children and families from various backgrounds and settings, especially those coming from underserved communities, continues to influence her outlook on how to address the compounding challenges children and families face due to inequitable opportunities.
She is also the founder of Early Childhood Education Ethiopia, an organization with a mission to improve, advance, expand and prioritize early childhood care and education in Ethiopia by supporting existing schools, creating new programs, partnering with institutions and implementing a Pk-16 approach in the education system.
Dr. Negussie holds a B.S., in Child Development, Minor in Psychology, M.A., in Early Childhood Education, Certificate in Infant Mental Health and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis on PK-12 learning environments. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at Brandman University.
Dr. Esmirna Valencia is the Executive Director of the Head Start/Early Head Start Programs for the Riverside County Office in Education. She holds a doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of LaVerne, a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from Chapman University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from California State University Long Beach with a minor in Social Sciences.
She has worked in the field of mental health, higher education and has been an adjunct faculty at three community colleges. She has worked in both the California State University and University of California system. She has served on dissertation committees and has served as a mentor for students and professionals alike.
She was born in the Dominican Republic and migrated with her family to New York. (She has also lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico) She enjoys reading, traveling and cooking.