Small Talks Recap:

Addressing Implicit Bias in Early Childhood: Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

This event took place on Thursday, February 18, 2021 | 8:00am – 9:00am

Thank you to all who attended and helped make this Small Talks a success! Implicit bias comes from the messages, attitudes and stereotypes picked up from the world we live in. During this event, we explored what implicit bias looks like in a preschool setting and discussed ways to have the often difficult, but important conversations about race and equity with colleagues, families, and young children.

Find resources discussed by our panelists and a video of the event below.

Jump to a section on this page:




Tanya Skogerboe photo

Tanya Skogerboe,

Vice President, Customer Relationship, Sleep Number by Select Comfort | Vice Chair, Think Small Board of Directors
Read Bio

Tanya Skogerboe is a Customer Experience leader in the Twin Cities. She is currently the Vice President of Services and Strategy for Sleep Number Corporation in Minneapolis where she leads over 1200 team members. She is also Vice Chair of the Think Small Board of Directors.

Tanya is passionate about closing the equity gap within the business community and the community at large. She is the mother of five children and an ardent advocate of working mothers.



Dianne Haulcy photo Sheila Williams Ridge photo

Dianne Haulcy

Senior Vice President of Family Engagement, Think Small
Read Bio

Dianne Haulcy joined Think Small in 2015 as the Sr. VP of Family Engagement where she oversees the administration of early learning scholarship dollars for the state of MN, Hennepin County and Northside Achievement Zone, Basic Sliding Fee for Ramsey County as well as outreach for providers and parents. Dianne has over 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. In her history she has directed five early childhood programs all serving inner-city, low-income, ethnically diverse populations. She has overseen many human services programming in the areas of behavioral health; in-home parenting; youth outreach and out-of-school-time services; shelter and services to homeless families and individuals; and many other family and community programs.

Most recently she serves as Senior Policy Aide for Mayor Betsy Hodges working on issues of early childhood, education and youth. Part of her work includes spearheading the mayor’s Cradle to K Cabinet, focused on children prenatal to three years old to ensure they are ready for early childhood education opportunities. Dianne previously was the Chief Operating Officer of The Family Partnership. The Family Partnership merged with Reuben Lindh Family Services in 2011 where Dianne served as the Executive Director for four years. Dianne has a BA in Sociology from Spelman College and an MA in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.

Dianne has worked extensively in the community. She currently serves on the board of directors for Northpoint Health and Wellness Center and previously served on the boards of Center for Communication and Development / KMOJ –FM Radio, Model Cities of St. Paul, African American Academy for Accelerated Learning and the Minnesota Council on Nonprofits. Known for her leadership in the early childhood field, Dianne serves as the Chair to the Voices and Choices for Children Coalition – a coalition of professionals of color and American Indian’s advocating on behalf of children and families of color in Minnesota, vice chair of the Governor’s Early Learning Council, and sits on the Parent Aware Advisory Committee, Early Childhood Systems Reform Work Group and is the co-chair of the Northside Achievement Zone Early Childhood Action Team.


Sheila Williams Ridge

Director, Shirley G. Moore Lab School
Read Bio

Sheila Williams Ridge, MA, has a BA in biology from University of Minnesota and an MA in education from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the director of the Shirley G. Moore Lab School at the University of MN and an instructor for the Institute of Child Development. She is also an adjunct professor for Hamline University in St. Paul, MN. Sheila serves on the governing boards for the Natural Start Alliance, the Minneapolis Nature Preschool, and the Friends School of Minnesota. Sheila is the coauthor of Nature-Based Learning for Young Children: Anytime, Anywhere, on Any Budget.

Nikki Darling-Kuria photo

Nikki Darling-Kuria

Trainer & Curriculum Developer, Think Small
Read Bio

Nikki Darling-Kuria is the Training and Curriculum Developer at Think Small with nearly 30 years of experience in Early Childhood Education. Nikki designs and delivers professional development training programs and initiatives that improve outcomes for very young children and their families. Using her extensive knowledge and experience in Diversity Informed Practice, Nikki creates content that is focused on increasing equity and decreasing social injustice to reduce the opportunity gap for children in Minnesota. Additionally, she collaborates with stakeholders to analyze performance metrics and conduct needs assessments to create continuous improvements and identify gaps.

Prior to joining Think Small, Nikki worked at ZERO TO THREE offering national expertise in diversity informed practice (Irving B. Harris Diversity Informed Tenets), working with diverse populations, reflective practice and reflective supervision, family child care, and state registry requirements for early educators and trainers across the country.

Nikki was a family child care provider for 16 years in WV and Maryland and earned two master’s degrees in human development and instructional design embedded in social justice and equity.

Thank You to Our Sponsors:


Leader Level:

Health Partners Little Moments Count
    Interested in becoming a sponsor? Click here to learn more. Question about becoming a sponsor? Please call 651-641-3545, or email
General Questions? Please email