Brett is a child advocate who's also an associate professor of Child Studies and the Inaugural Bannan Faculty Fellow for Racial and Ethnic Justice at Santa Clara University. She believes that with our country’s social climate in crisis and the notion of “liberty and justice for all” in question, there is a true urgency for cultural competence and compassion in action for all of our citizens. These necessities are particularly salient for our nation’s children and specifically for those from underrepresented and under-served communities. When constructs such as the “pre-school to prison pipeline” become a part of our daily vernacular, DACA being threatened, and unarmed African American males being gunned down by law enforcement officials, it is obvious that social justice needs to be the starting point for educating all members of our community. We need to light the fire for justice!
Brett's professional mission is to educate, guide, mentor and support the next generation of “fire starters.” This means giving individuals the tools and skills that they need to make informed decisions about their lives, and the lives of the children with whom they serve. She directs SCU’s Future Teachers Project which gives her the opportunity to consider the tools that college students need to be equipped to experience and understand the injustices experienced by youth and families. The tools challenge students to consider privilege and to grapple with the expectations and judgments that often coincide with it. The tools encompass standing up, speaking out, and representing for those who may not be able to do so for themselves. If the tools work, they will influence a change in consciousness regarding children who are underrepresented and underserved to children who become represented and served.
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