This policy and reporting form is intended for racism that happens with the Tiny Trees Preschool. We are a small organization, and unfortunately do not have capacity to address racism outside of our organization, volunteers,  partners, and vendors. 


Tiny Trees Preschool is working to build an anti-racist organization and a culture of belonging, where people can be their true selves. The racial grievance policy is intended to support people of color and to actively address microaggressions, harassment, racial discrimination, and other racial misconduct. 

Our policy is meant to ensure:

  • All perceived violations and complaints of racial discrimination and harassment are seriously considered and dealt with in a manner that is anti-racist, equitable, timely and consistent.
  • People reporting racial grievances feel that their grievances are addressed and taken seriously.
  • People reporting racial grievances do not experience any retaliation or victimization.
  • This policy is meant to assist in our shared work of dismantling and decentering a cultural norm of whiteness as defined as a construct of the white race where white supremacy can manifest. 


Our policy applies to all people who are a part of the Tiny Trees Preschool community, including but not limited to: staff, board, volunteers, interns, donors, parents, and nonprofit and corporate partners.

Important Definitions 

To ensure accountability and increase understanding of what is a racial incident, we’ve provided definitions of core concepts and principles. 

Racial grievance is the reporting of a racist incident to Tiny Trees Preschool. 

Racist incidents include but are not limited to inappropriate racial comments, microaggressions, slurs, jokes, pictures, objects, threats, physical assaults, intimidation, institutionally or culturally racist policies, practices, and norms, unequal application of policies based on race, and unequal or biased treatment based on race. This includes behaviors, actions, or systems that are not intended to be racist but harm people of color, and intentional racial harassment or discrimination.


  • Unwelcome comments and conduct with racial connotation(s) or subject matter that are demeaning to an ethnic group or people of a particular skin color or group
  • Offensive and vulgar jokes, name-calling, ridicule or mockery, insults or put-downs, stereotyping based on a person’s skin color, ethnicity, or national origin, physical gestures or enactments, or displaying racist photographs or objects;
  • Unwelcome requests or demands for favorable treatment due to one’s skin color, ethnicity, or national origin;
  • Physical assaults or threats and intimidation
  • Denial or obstruction of access to programs or opportunities 
  • Policies, practices, and norms that perpetuate institutional or cultural racism
  • Unequal application of policies and/or practices
  • Any other racist misconduct that interferes with building a culture of belonging at Tiny Trees Preschool. 


Microaggressions, defined as “The everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership” (Source: Microaggressions: More than Just Race). The term “microaggressions” and its usage has been evolving, as well, and what should be emphasized is that the word “micro” in no way insinuates the level of harm done. Rather, this term illuminates how the immense harm of racism can insert itself even into behaviors that many could incorrectly think as inconsequential or harmless. Calling attention to microaggressions and holding these behaviors accountable is a necessary part of creating an anti-racist culture at Tiny Trees.

Racism is defined as “prejudice plus power to emphasize the mechanisms by which racism leads to different consequences for different groups. The relationship and behavior of these interdependent elements have allowed racism to continue, generation after generation” (Source: Racial Equity Tools). 

Discrimation is defined as “the unequal treatment of members of various groups based on race, gender, social class, sexual orientation, physical ability, religion and other categories” (Source: Racial Equity Tools). 


Prejudice is defined as “a pre-judgment or unjustifiable, and usually negative, attitude of one type of individual or group toward another group and its members. Such negative attitudes are typically based on unsupported generalizations (or stereotypes) that deny the right of individual members of certain groups to be recognized and treated as individuals with individual characteristics” (Source: Institute for Democratic Renewal and Project Change Anti-Racism Initiative, A Community Builder’s Tool Kit).


Institutional Racism / Structural Racism is defined as “ normalization and legitimization of an array of dynamics – historical, cultural, institutional, and interpersonal – that routinely advantage Whites while producing cumulative and chronic adverse outcomes for people of color. Structural racism encompasses the entire system of White domination, diffused and infused in all aspects of society including its history, culture, politics, economics, and entire social fabric. 

Structural racism is more difficult to locate in a particular institution because it involves the reinforcing effects of multiple institutions and cultural norms, past and present, continually reproducing old and producing new forms of racism. Structural racism is the most profound and pervasive form of racism – all other forms of racism emerge from structural racism (Source: Chronic Disparity: Strong and Pervasive Evidence of Racial Inequalities). 


People of Color, also commonly represented by the acronym BIPOC, include people who are Black, Indigenous, or other non-white ethnicities. 


Whiteness, or the “white” race, is a legally established social construct that systemically benefits those who are claimed or defined as White. Whiteness has its own political power, culture, behaviors, and privileges, and an essential component of any anti-racist work is to de-center Whiteness in both our systems and interpersonal relations. [Note: When talking about conflict among BIPOC groups, it’s important (when applicable) for individuals to name their own proximity to Whiteness in order to subvert the ways that white supremacy culture and anti-blackness can show up even when no white folks are present.] 

Please see expanded definition below:

Whiteness itself refers to the specific dimensions of racism that serve to elevate white people over people of color. This definition counters the dominant representation of racism in mainstream education as isolated in discrete behaviors that some individuals may or may not demonstrate, and goes beyond naming specific privileges (McIntosh, 1988). Whites are theorized as actively shaped, affected, defined, and elevated through their racialization and the individual and collective consciousness formed within it … Whiteness is thus conceptualized as a constellation of processes and practices rather than as a discrete entity (i.e. skin color alone). Whiteness is dynamic, relational, and operating at all times and on myriad levels. These processes and practices include basic rights, values, beliefs, perspectives, and experiences purported to be commonly shared by all but which are actually only consistently afforded to white people. (Source: PBS, “Race: The Power of an Illusion” (2018–2019 relaunch of 2003 series).


White Privilege is a set of advantages and/or immunities that white people benefit from on a daily basis beyond those common to all others. White privilege can exist without white people’s conscious knowledge of its presence and it helps to maintain the racial hierarchy in this country. (Source: Peggy McIntosh, “White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspon­dences Through Work in Women Studies”)


White Supremacy Culture refers to the dominant, unquestioned standards of behavior and ways of functioning embodied by the vast majority of institutions in the United States. These standards may be seen as mainstream, dominant cultural practices; they have evolved from the United States’ history of white supremacy. Because it is so normalized it can be hard to see, which only adds to its powerful hold. In many ways, it is indistinguishable from what we might call U.S. culture or norms – a focus on individuals over groups, for example, or an emphasis on the written word as a form of professional communication. But it operates in even more subtle ways, by actually defining what “normal” is – and likewise, what “professional,” “effective,” or even “good” is. In turn, white culture also defines what is not good, “at risk,” or “unsustainable.” White culture values some ways of thinking, behaving, deciding, and knowing – ways that are more familiar and come more naturally to those from a white, western tradition – while devaluing or rendering invisible other ways. And it does this without ever having to explicitly say so. (Source: Racial Equity Tools

Addressing Racist Incidents 

If you have experienced a racist incident: 

  • Bring your concern to Tiny Trees Preschool grievance committee members as quickly as possible, using the contact information below or racial grievance reporting form.
  • The Tiny Trees Preschool grievance committee will address the grievance according to our investigation and grievance procedure below.
  • The Tiny Trees grievance committee is responsible for recording the incident through the racial grievance reporting form, if the grievance wasn’t originally reported using this method. And the grievance committee will record any action taken by Tiny Trees Preschool.
  • The person wishing to report a grievance may also contact a person they feel comfortable with inside the organization and ask them to report on their behalf. 
  • If you aren’t sure if you want to formally report a grievance, but would like the space to process what happened to you and ask questions, you can reach out to the Equity Coordinator, Jenn Shaffer for an informal confidential conversation instead.


If you are an observer of a racist incident:

  • First, check in with the person experiencing the racist incident to see what support they need and what course of action would be most helpful to them.
  • From there, determine next steps for addressing or reporting the racial grievance (see above for more details).
  • If you see someone address a racist incident, offer them support and acknowledge their action to continue to build solidarity and community around interrupting racism.
  • If you aren’t sure if you want to formally report a grievance, but would like the space to process what happened to you and ask questions, you can reach out to the Equity Coordinator, Jenn Shaffer for an informal confidential conversation instead.

Investigation and Grievance Procedure 

Once the grievance committee is notified about an incident, we will reach out to the person affected to hear their experience, discuss possible resolutions and ensure the affected person feels supported within 24 hours. 

If a grievance is reported anonymously, the grievance committee will determine the best course of action to address the grievance with the information provided.

The grievance committee is committed to conduct a prompt, thorough and fair investigation towards a resolution. And we will provide weekly updates on the progress of the investigation and any corrective action taken to the person affected. 

The first action will be taken by the committee within three business days. The next steps may include: 

  1. A meeting one on one with the offender to discuss the incident, reinforce our values and outlining out a corrective action plan. 
  2. Holding a mediation session with the affected person and offender, only if the affected person feels comfortable. 
  3. Training or education for the offender or community at large. 
  4. If needed, supporting the person impacted with taking legal action, seeking mental health support and/or notifying authority. 
  5. Updating Tiny Tree Preschool’s policies, norms and practices to dismantle institutional and/or cultural racism at Tiny Trees. 
  6. Dismissing offender from Tiny Trees employment or programs and events. 

Confidentiality, Access to Information, and Protection from Retaliation

  • All grievance reports will be treated as confidential to the extent possible when addressing the grievance. Below is a brief breakdown of when we may share information:
    • If we feel you are in physical danger at any time, we may alert the appropriate authorities. 
    • We may share your name with the offender, if necessary. 
    • If we need to include members of the leadership team, ie. Deputy Executive Director or the Executive Director to finalize a course of action. 
  • Records of racial grievances about staff will be placed in the offender’s personnel file. A record of the racial grievances report will not be placed in the personnel file of a staff member reporting an incident.
  • Threats, other forms of intimidation, and retaliation against a person reporting a racial grievance or any party involved in implementing the racial grievance policy are violations of the policy and may be grounds for disciplinary action.

Grievance Committee Members 

Below are the designated members of the grievance committee, please feel free to contact any member you feel comfortable contacting to report an incident: 


The person wishing to report a grievance may also contact a person they feel comfortable with inside the organization and ask them to report on their behalf. 

Racial Grievance Reporting Form

Are you reporting a grievance about a racist incident that happened to you or someone else?(Required)
If you are reporting for someone else, do you have their permission to report the incident?(Required)
Did you or anyone else take action to interrupt or address the incident?
Would you like to be contacted by a member of the grievance committee to address the racial grievance?(Required)