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National Black Child Development Institute

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National Black Child Development Institute

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For more than 50 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been committed to our mission to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy. 

With our 24-member National Affiliate Network, we develop and deliver strengths-based, culturally-relevant, evidence-based, and trauma-informed curricula and programs that focus on family engagement, health and wellness, and literacy. We support increased access to effective education by providing professional development scholarships for early childhood educators. NBCDI, the National Affiliate Network, and our members advocate and inform education policies at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure equitable systems for Black children and families.

NBCDI is a contributing and valued member of several early childhood coalitions at the national level, working closely with a range of partners and policymakers to advocate for positive, supportive and equitable funding and policy decisions that affect Black children, families and communities. We also produce a wide range of print and online materials, resources and recommendations to support local advocates, community leaders, parents and caregivers, educators, policymakers, and other stakeholders.


From our inception in 1970, NBCDI’s focus has been on achieving positive outcomes for vulnerable children who suffer from the dual legacies of poverty and racial discrimination. NBCDI was launched by the Black Women’s Community Development Foundation, whose leadership, in the wake of the Civil Rights Movement, was deeply concerned about the unsatisfactory social and economic conditions facing families determined to raise healthy Black children. By organizing NBCDI as a national advocacy group, these visionary women created a unified movement to develop strategies to improve the life circumstances of Black children through policy change.  


NBCDI is dedicated to advancing our vision of a society that ensures a successful future for all children. Our initiatives, practices, and programs are intentionally designed to support racial equity for young Black children through program and policy initiatives that engage parents and caregivers as advocates for their children; raise the quality of the early childhood workforce; ensure new early childhood teacher education requirements build the capacity of Black educators and do not displace them; increase Black early childhood education policy leadership at the national level; and drive systems change by amplifying disparities affecting black children, highlighting best practices, recommending policy changes to address system inequities, and implementing advocacy campaigns to effect change. Below are descriptions of our signature programs, policy work, and other initiatives that advance equity in these areas.


  • Family Empowerment Program. NBCDI’s Family Empowerment Program (FEP) is an evidence-based program that builds the capacity of parents and caregivers as leaders of their families and advocates for their children. 

  • Good for Me! NBCDI’s Good for Me! is a strengths- and evidence-based program designed to promote culturally relevant healthy nutrition and fitness practices among Black families with children between three and five years old. 

  • Read to Succeed. NBCDI’s Read to Succeed program is designed to promote early literacy and language development by supporting families with children between birth and eight years old to establish home libraries with culturally responsive and developmentally appropriate children’s books. 

Policy Work

  • Council on Black Health Initiative. NBCDI partners with the Council on Black Health and four other leading organizations (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., 100 Black Men of America, Inc., Black Women’s Health Imperative, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) to advance and promote the health and wellness of Black children and families. 

  • Delivering on the Promise. Our Delivering on the Promise initiative is designed to ensure that advocates and policymakers at multiple levels of government take action to end suspensions and expulsions in early childhood settings, increase access to trauma-informed care, and increase professional development on racial bias and positive discipline practices. 

  • NBCDI Policy Fellowship. The purpose of the NBCDI Policy Fellowship is to deliver a new cadre of highly qualified policy leaders who will bring more diversity at the senior and executive levels in national child and family advocacy organizations. 

  • Responsible Transformation of the Early Childhood Education Workforce. NBCDI launched the Responsible Transformation of the Early Childhood Education Workforce initiative to (a) examine the impact new credentialing requirements may have on Black early childhood educators; and (b) explore how best to increase access to high quality early childhood education by implementing a degree requirement for early childhood educators in communities that serve Black children by strengthening, not displacing, the current workforce. 

  • State Affiliate Model. NBCDI is developing a State Affiliate model, which will address a critical need for more state-level advocates with a commitment to Black children and families and deep grassroots connections in Black communities, and make the priorities of elected and appointed officials at the state-level more responsive to the needs of Black children and families. 


  • 50th Anniversary State of the Black Child Report. NBCDI is preparing a 50th Anniversary State of Black Child Report that will provide a synopsis of the state of Black children in all 50 states, and will convene a National Advisory Committee to frame the indicators in the report and inform policy recommendations and advocacy strategies. 

  • State of the Black Child Report Card. NBCDI has released the State of the Black Child Report Card series in Georgia, Ohio, Texas, and Washington State. The report cards provide advocates with high-priority policy recommendations to improve education, health, and family support systems for Black children and families statewide, and advance policies that have a positive impact on Black children and families and their outcomes.


  • Annual Conference. NBCDI’s annual conference brings together nearly 1,000 stakeholders for a multi-day conference designed to educate and equip advocates, educators, elected officials, researchers, business leaders, families, caregivers, and partners. 

  • National Black Child Development Week. National Black Child Development Week (NBCDW) is a time of national awareness, collective action, and community mobilization to address and advance issues impacting Black children and families. 

  • Virtual Learning Series. Our Virtual Learning Series focuses on subject matter and themes meaningfully connected to NBCDI priorities, including education, mental health, and civic engagement. The series affords NBCDI stakeholders, Affiliates, educators, donors, community partners, practitioners, legislators, children and families an opportunity to connect and engage in content intended to provide critical insight and thought leadership that will educate and equip participants with knowledge, tools, and skills to effectively advocate for Black children, families, and communities during the COVID-19 global pandemic.


NBCDI's 24 Affiliates, bolstered by thousands of members, are the heart of our organization, engaging in successful program and policy work by reaching deeply into Black communities in cities like Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, and Sacramento. To support them as they strengthen their capacity and engage in effective programming, NBCDI provides financial resources, professional development and technical assistance from our national office, located in Silver Spring, MD. Our Affiliates are:

  1. BCDI‐Albany – Albany, NY

  2. BCDI‐Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

  3. BCDI‐Charlotte – Charlotte, NC

  4. BCDI‐Chicago – Chicago, IL

  5. BCDI-Cleveland – Cleveland, OH

  6. BCDI‐Dallas – Dallas, TX

  7. BCDI‐DC Metro – Washington, DC

  8. BCDI-Denver – Denver, CO

  9. BCDI‐Detroit – Detroit, MI

  10. BCDI‐Fort Lauderdale – Fort Lauderdale, FL

  11. BCDI-Greater Tampa Bay –Tampa Bay, FL

  12. BCDI‐Greensboro – Greensboro, NC

  13. BCDI-Hampton Roads – Hampton Roads, VA

  14. BCDI‐Houston – Houston, TX

  15. BCDI‐Los Angeles – Los Angeles, CA

  16. BCDI‐Miami – Miami, FL

  17. BCDI‐Mid Hudson – Wappingers Falls, NY

  18. BCDI‐Milwaukee – Milwaukee, WI

  19. BCDI‐Nashville – Nashville, TN

  20. BCDI‐New York – New York City, NY

  21. BCDI‐Paramus – Paramus, NJ

  22. BCDI‐Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

  23. BCDI‐Sacramento – Sacramento, CA

  24. BCDI‐Seattle – Seattle, WA