WCGMF Discovery

Discovery 2013 Stone Soup

The Impact of Race and Economic Status on Early Childhood: Opportunities for Community Transformation

Date

October 22, 2013
8:00 am - 3:45 pm

Location

Crowne Plaza
100 Berlin Turnpike
Cromwell, CT 06416

Audience

Discovery Communities and Partners

Online registration open:
September 18 to October 4, 2013
Register Online
Registration is first-come, first-served.  Please register early, sessions fill up quickly and the conference has reached capacity the last several years.

MORNING KEYNOTE

The Structure of Race and Poverty: Implications for the Future of Young Children

RINKU SEN, President and Executive Director, Applied Research Center (ARC); Publisher, Colorlines.com.
A leading figure in the racial justice movement, Rinku Sen has positioned ARC as a national home for media, research and activism on these issues. Rinku is the author of Stir It Up, a primer on best practices in community organizing, and The Accidental American, Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization, a book about Moroccan immigrant Fekkak Mamdouh, who co-founded the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York in the aftermath of September 11.  She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for activists and journalists, including being named a Prime Movers Fellow and one of Ms. Magazine’s “21 Feminists to Watch.” 

PLENARY PANEL

Food Fight! Across the state, food justice advocates have organized for collective impact to expand the nutritious, delicious and affordable options for Connecticut children and their families.

CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE

8:00 – 8:30 AM

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30 – 9:30 AM

Welcome and Keynote Address by Rinku Sen

10:00 – 11:15 AM

Concurrent Workshops (see descriptions)

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Plenary Panel on Food Justice

12:30 – 1:30 PM

Networking Lunch

1:30 – 1:50 PM

Remarks by David Nee

2:00 – 3:15 PM

Concurrent Workshops (see descriptions)

3:25 – 3:45 PM

Informal Close, Raffle


Presented by the Stone Soup Planning Committee, Discovery Communities, and the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund

Concurrent Workshops

Morning Breakout Sessions

AM Breakout Session 1: Addressing Race and Class Using Theatre of the Oppressed

Through Theatre of the Oppressed activities and scenes, participants will sharpen their skills in recognizing structural racism and classism and learn ways to break mechanized thought patterns that perpetuate oppression. HartBeat actors and conference participants will work together to create scenes about contentious issues, which confront participants on a regular basis at work and at home. Through image theater, improvisation and dialogue, participants will learn how to share their stories on stage. No previous performance experience necessaryLimited to 40 participants.

AM Breakout Session 2: Unconscious Racism: A Conversation With Rinku Sen

In this follow up session, participants will have a chance to engage more deeply in questions and answers with keynote speaker Rinku Sen, who will focus on the topic of unconscious racism. 

AM Breakout Session 3: Honoring Diversity and Authentically Partnering With Families

How can schools and communities intentionally and effectively support families in their role as their children's first teachers and advocates? Research demonstrates that successful education for all children requires understanding family strengths, honoring diversity, and establishing authentic, family-school-community partnerships. Your stories are welcomed as we explore key theories, proven approaches, and practical strategies for daily implementation.

AM Breakout Session 4: An Open Space Technology Session: "Why Are Black and Hispanic/Latino Boys Expelled and Suspended at Higher Rates in CT? What Must We Do To Change This?"

Open Space Technology is an innovative way to enable individuals, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. In Open Space sessions, participants manage their own agendas around a central theme of strategic importance. The common result is a powerful and effective dialogue that allows participants to present their personal perspectives about the topic at hand. Through a facilitated dialogue, participants in this session will explore the complexity surrounding the topic and be encouraged to move from superficial discourse to meaningful engagement. Limited to 35 participants. 

AM Breakout Session 5: Parent Perceptions of Quality Childcare in a Diverse Community

This presentation will share information from an exciting community-university partnership that explores what Danbury parents from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds say they want from quality childcare. During the session, participants will hear specific findings from the study and then actively engage in using that information to discuss strategies that can be applied in other communities. The format will be interactive and provide time for participants to share in large and small group formats, leading to action steps to take back to their communities.

AM Breakout Session 6: Talking About Race

What makes talking about race difficult and what can we do to make it less difficult? We will unpack the different approaches that people bring to conversations about race—believing, thinking, doing, and feeling. Through small group work and large group sharing, we will reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of each approach. Our goal will be to develop a problem solving framework that each of us can use to improve genuine communication and our comfort level in conversations about race. This will be a highly interactive and participatory session.

AM Breakout Session 7: Twenty-five Years Later: The Ongoing Impact of Sheff vs. O’Neill in Equalizing Education in Connecticut

It has been almost 25 years since a dozen families, led by Elizabeth Horton Sheff and her son Milo, sued the State of Connecticut to desegregate the Hartford schools and redress the inequity between educational opportunities available to Hartford students and students in suburban districts. Elizabeth Horton Sheff, still an active plaintiff and co-chair of the Sheff Movement Coalition , will describe how the landmark court decision has altered, if not transformed, public education in Hartford and surrounding communities, the satisfactions and frustrations of her ongoing activism, and what remains to be done. Philip Tegeler, an original attorney on the case, will describe how Hartford’s voluntary two-way regional integration program has evolved into one of the leading programs in the country, the next phase of the Sheff settlement agreement, and how the Sheff precedents can benefit other parts of Connecticut.

AM Breakout Session 8: "Toxic Stress," Trauma and the Culture of Poverty

Very young children who experience “toxic stress” and trauma are at high risk for serious social, emotional, and behavioral disturbance, as well as developmental, learning, and health problems. The impact of poverty on these children and their families can significantly increase these risks. Presenters will discuss the impact of “toxic stress” and historical/cultural trauma on early brain development, and the opportunities for early identification and therapeutic services for very young children and families. They will also discuss how professionals can obtain more training and skills in working with families that face these challenges through the CT-AIMH Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Services to Infants, Toddlers, Parents, Other Caregivers and Families.

AM Breakout Session 9: Minding the Opportunity Gaps: Story and Video as Tools for Community Action

This session will begin with a viewing of the 7-minute video, Opportunity Gaps , which tells the story of a young Connecticut mother as she navigates the early childhood system and strives to provide the best care and education for her children. A facilitated conversation will follow using a discussion guide created to help people explore the topics presented in this film. The session will be highly interactive. Participants will leave with a toolkit, which includes the discussion guides and other resources to continue the conversations in their own communities.

Afternoon Breakout Sessions

PM Breakout Session 1: Addressing Race and Class Using Theatre of the Oppressed

Through Theatre of the Oppressed activities and scenes, participants will sharpen their skills in recognizing structural racism and classism and learn ways to break mechanized thought patterns that perpetuate oppression. HartBeat actors and conference participants will work together to create scenes about contentious issues, which confront participants on a regular basis at work and at home. Through image theater, improvisation and dialogue, participants will learn how to share their stories on stage. No previous performance experience necessaryLimited to 40 participants.

PM Breakout Session 2: Childhood Poverty and Lifelong Opportunity

Poverty in childhood has life-long impacts, not least because poor children have fewer opportunities, especially in education. Connecticut Association for Human Services ( CAHS ) staff will review data from a Kids Count special report on "Opportunity in Connecticut" that focuses on race, poverty, and education, and discuss public policy changes and community programs that can help children and families succeed financially.

PM Breakout Session 3: Conversation with Myra Jones-Taylor

The Office of Early Childhood is now the lead state agency for early childhood services in Connecticut. The new office will implement the vision long shared by many advocates for a comprehensive system that more effectively meets the developmental needs of young children and their families. Join Executive Director Dr. Myra Jones-Taylor for a conversation about the new Office of Early Childhood and in particular the challenge of improving services and outcomes for the most vulnerable children and families in Connecticut. Session participants will have a chance to ask questions and share their thoughts with Dr. Jones-Taylor during this informal conversation.

PM Breakout Session 4: An Open Space Technology Session: "How Do We Move from Awareness of the Challenges Facing Children and Families Because of Race and Economic Status, to Action?"

Open Space Technology is an innovative way to enable individuals, in any kind of organization, to create inspired meetings and events. In Open Space sessions, participants manage their own agendas around a central theme of strategic importance. The common result is a powerful and effective dialogue that allows participants to present their personal perspectives about the topic at hand. Through a facilitated dialogue, participants in this session will explore the complexity surrounding the topic and be encouraged to move from superficial discourse to meaningful engagement. Limited to 35 participants. 

PM Breakout Session 5: What Early Care and Education Providers Need to Know to Serve All Children

A culturally sensitive and competent early care and education workforce is essential to ensure that ALL children receive learning experiences that are culturally relevant and support positive self-image. This session will provide knowledge and skills to implement culturally relevant pedagogy, and explore the role and impact of race on all children. Learning objectives include: exploring the impact of systemic racism and dominant (white) culture on adult values and beliefs and their impact on personal practices in classrooms; examining children’s self image and identity development through the lens of race and culture; and gaining an understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) and how to implement CRP to support positive self-image in young children.

PM Breakout Session 6: ​Talking to Young Children About Race: Why It's Important and How It Can Be Done in a Developmentally Appropriate Way

To be effective, researchers have found, conversations about race have to be explicit, in unmistakable terms that children understand. Without these explicit conversations, children can become confused and left to develop their own understanding of race. In this interactive session participants will explore their own racial experiences and begin to understand how those experiences have influenced who they are. Examples will be shared of classrooms that have created a welcoming atmosphere that encourages children to talk about diversity. In particular, Persona Dolls and the use of authentic multicultural literature as strategies to create opportunities for dialogue with children about race will be introduced. Participants will create one Persona Doll during the workshop and will evaluate a book using an authentic multicultural literature evaluation tool. Participants should bring their favorite children’s book to the workshop.

PM Breakout Session 7: Race and Class in Education: The Costs and Benefits of Sharing Personal Narratives

This workshop is about focusing personal stories about race and class in the context of addressing the systemic and structural policies and practices that affect our schools and communities. In particular, we will discuss how to open dialogue about race in the absence of a catalyzing incident and how to create space for these conversations as part of the normal everyday experience. We will consider the costs and benefits of sharing personal narratives as we strive toward creating more equitable and inclusive environments. We will pay particular attention to thinking about who is privileged by and who is disadvantaged by this narrative process when we deliberately choose to move out of our comfort zones and balance on a learning edge.

 


Discovery 2013 Stone Soup

The Impact of Race and Economic Status on Early Childhood:
Opportunities for Community Transformation

Date

October 22, 2013
8:00 am - 3:45 pm

Location

Crowne Plaza
100 Berlin Turnpike
Cromwell, CT 06416

Audience

Discovery Communities and Partners

Online registration open:
September 18 to October 4, 2013
Register Online