Small Talks Recap:

Addressing Implicit Bias in Early Childhood: The Intersection of Race, the Economy and Early Childhood

This event took place on Thursday, April 29, 2021 | 8:00am – 9:00am CST

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. This Small Talks highlighted a brief presentation on the data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on the intersection of race, economy and education, in particular early childhood. Systemic racism undermines the entire educational system in Minnesota and the gaps that start early for children, persist into adulthood, and affect a person’s lifetime earning potential. This event was a focused discussion on the importance of public investment in high quality early childhood and how it can help to close opportunity gaps.

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Allison Corrado photo

Allison Corrado

Senior Program Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
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Allison is passionate about working in partnership to advance health equity and dismantle systems of oppression. Allison’s background is in social work and public policy and oversees the Foundation’s focus on increasing access to high quality early childhood care and education. Allison is the co-chair of the Start Early Funders’ Public Policy committee and a member of the Minnesota Council on Foundation’s Government Relations and Public Policy committee. Allison has a bachelor’s degree in family social science and master’s degrees in public policy and social work, all from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband and young daughter.



Rob Grunewald photo James Henderson photo

Rob Grunewald

Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
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Rob Grunewald conducts research on community development and regional economic issues. He co-authored “Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return” in 2003 and has written several subsequent articles on the economic and social impact of early learning. He frequently speaks to community and business leaders, policymakers, and media throughout the United States.


James Henderson

Director, First Children’s Finance Michigan
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James joined First Children’s Finance in April, 2018, bringing over 14 years of education, nonprofit, entrepreneur and business experience. James previously served as the Executive Director of Arts & Scraps in Detroit, Vice President of Operations and Strategic Partnerships for the Metro Detroit Charter Center, Quality Schools Facilitator for the Michigan Association of Public School Academies, and Principal and Superintendent of Cole Academy in Lansing. In his role at First Children’s Finance, James leads efforts to grow and sustain early child care education businesses in Detroit and across the state of Michigan. James is a graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Education and a Master’s in Education Administration from Central Michigan University.

Sharaya Robinson photo Jonathan Palmer

Sharaya Robinson

Owner, Train Em’ Up Childcare
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My name is Sharaya Robinson. I am a proud single mother of a smart busy four year-old named Joshua. I am the oldest of 8 siblings so being a caregiver has come so natural for me. I’ve always wanted to have a family childcare, when I bought my house mid 2018 I immediately sought out being licensed by Hennepin County. Unfortunately, this process took nearly two years as I had many unnecessary hurdles to jump but I remained steadfast. Today, I am proud to say that my business Train Em’ Up Childcare gives me the opportunity to care for 15 scholars. I love what I do, my favorite quote “teachers who love teaching, teach children to love learning.”


Jonathan Palmer

Executive Director, Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc.
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Jonathan Palmer is the sixth Executive Director for Hallie Q. Brown Community Center, Inc. (HQB), a 91-year old African American nonprofit social service agency in Saint Paul, MN. Prior to HQB, Jonathan served as the Director of the Minneapolis Empowerment Zone (EZ), a federally-funded community renewal initiative through the Department of Housing and Urban Development administered by the City of Minneapolis; and Executive Director of the Jordan Area Community Council. Jonathan is a graduate of Morehouse College where he received his BA in Psychology with a minor in Theatre and is completing an MA in Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs t the University of Minnesota. In 2018, he received proclamations from the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners and the Mayor of the City of Saint Paul for a decade of service with HQB and restoring and preserving this historic community institution. Among his other awards are being named one of the inaugural Heroes of the Rondo Commemorative Plaza (2017) and the Sullivan Ballou award for his work on Project Superhero (2014).

Jonathan holds a wealth of experience in community-based activism, leadership and volunteer work throughout his life in Minnesota and across the country. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors for MDI; Minnesota Costumers for a Cause (CFAC); and Convergence Events (President; External Relations and Communications Director). He is the Director of Gatherings and Minnesota Commissioner for the International Clan MacFarlane Society, Inc. and a Fellow in the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an avid historian and gives presentations and lectures on African, African American and Scottish history and culture as well as systemic racism, diversity, equity and inclusion. He is an artist, poet, singer, genealogist and urban superhero working hard to make a difference in the communities he serves. Jonathan lives in North Minneapolis with his daughter Siobhan and their cat Lizzie.


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