In the wake of this past year’s racial strife, there has perhaps never been a more important time to celebrate African Americans’ roles in United States history than now.  February is Black History Month, and in recognition, NECC encourages our community to celebrate the monumental accomplishments of African Americans throughout our history and reflect on issues of inequity that are still present in our society.     

Celebrating Black history is important for everyone regardless of race or color. It amplifies Black voices, shines a light on different cultures, and helps provide perspective to modern-day privilege. Learning about Black history is an essential part to understanding the society we live in today, and how our efforts to foster a community free of discrimination and prejudice will always be a work in progress.     

Over the past year, NECC has reexamined our workplace and recognized that we must refocus our attention on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). As a result, our new strategic plan includes a significant emphasis on DEI goals, and our DEI Task Force, led by Fatou Njie Jallow and Soudie Tahmassebipour, has worked tirelessly to identify specific goals to improve our work environment. The DEI Task Force is committed to creating a positive, accepting workplace for all. Throughout the month of February, the DEI Task Force will be providing weekly updates in the weekly memo as well as the roll-out of our first school-wide DEI training initiative.   

NECC’s Diversity Consultant, Soudie Tahmassebipour, will be providing a training entitled “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Workplace” throughout the month of February to all NECC staff.  The purpose of this training is to create a common understanding of how implicit biases impact our decision-making and limit our ability to fully realize individual and organizational potential. This training is critical for all employees and will serve as a foundation for subsequent trainings and initiatives.  

We are excited to move forward with the work of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force and grateful for everyone’s commitment to the process.

About The New England Center for Children

The New England Center for Children® (NECC®) is an award-winning autism education center and research institute. Committed to creating a world where autism is not a barrier to happiness, growth, and independence, our community of teachers, researchers, and clinicians provide comprehensive services including home-based, day, and residential programs, partner classrooms in public school systems, consulting services, and the ACE® ABA Software System (

We are committed to creating an equitable workplace for our diverse team and providing industry-leading staff professional development opportunities, specifically with our on-campus graduate degree partnership programs. The result is a growing pool of autism educators and researchers that impact the lives of children with autism both at NECC and around the world. The New England Center for Children is based in Southborough, MA, and operates a center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Learn more at