Linda Hassan Anderson
- What do you do at CEI?
I am the Chief Program Officer. I am accountable for CEI’s programs that include assessment, client facilitation, coaching and consultation, community focused training offerings and CEI’s digital strategy. One of my favorite parts of this work is engaging with the facilitation and education teams in visioning and planning to support clients to meet their equity, diversity and inclusion efforts internally and within communities.
- What did you do prior to CEI?
I built a 40+ year career in early childhood education with a progression of roles in local, state and national education & child/family focused organizations. In 2016, I retired as Vice-President of Education at KinderCare Education (KCE). Prior to joining KCE, I led the Academy for Early Childhood Education Program Accreditation at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for three years.
I have been a presenter at international, national, and state conferences, featured on local radio and television broadcasts and cited in publications as an early childhood expert. I am a contributing author for publications and blogs including New America’s Compendium – The Impact of Race, Class and Gender on ECE’s Thorny Knot.
- Why do you do this work?
My personal why: I am a grandparent of a young black girl and am grateful for an opportunity to support my son in validating her racial identity and instilling pride that includes knowing her worth and acquiring language to create and express her lived experiences.
My professional why: As an educator, I am committed to being a lifelong learner. I am deepening my awareness of the myriad of ways that cultural and institutional racism has and continues to impact black and brown children. This work allows me to be in relationship with adults who are transforming their own views and their spheres of influence (personal and professional) to dismantle long held beliefs, practices and systems of oppression. As a black woman, I recognize that I have work to do to examine all that I have internalized from my lived experiences, and I welcome the opportunity to do this as a part of my growth at CEI.
- What do you believe?
I believe that this work is never done.
I believe that we do this for the possibility of a more equitable society today and for generations to come.
I believe that everything that we say and do, as well as the silence that we hold and the things we choose to ignore, create our collective reality.
I believe that the best of humanity will prevail even when there may be evidence to the contrary along the way.
- What is a question that guides your work?
If not us, who? And if not now, when?
Quote: The paradox of education is precisely this – that as one begins to become conscious one begins to examine the society to which he is being educated. James Baldwin