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By harnessing the power of technology, our virtual learning labs offers leaders and practitioners another opportunity for shared learning and networking.


Join us for sessions featuring expert speakers, promising practices, and success stories focusing on NOW’s key levers of change,

Become a member today to stay up to date about new resources and future learning labs!



Imperative of NOW: Community Power and Healing-Centered Advocacy

Local residents and grassroots community leaders have long been at the forefront of transformative systems and policy change, and they have done so by centering the voice, leadership, and power of those most impacted by structural inequity. Throughout the year, we invite you to join us, through shared storytelling, peer learning, and skill building to explore, what does it look like to harness, activate and build community power? What can we learn from resident-led advocacy movements -- from voter education, birth equity, food systems, and early childhood education -- and their strategies towards self-advocacy, collective action, and legislative change? Learn from coalition leaders, resident leaders, and social change agents who are centering healing, power sharing, and narrative change in their advocacy efforts to create thriving, healthy communities.

Download our 2023 Webinar Series Reflective Action Guide


Building Relationships and Partnerships towards an Equitable Food System 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern



Community food systems are rooted in meaningful relationships across people and place – from farmers and distributors, to retailers and families, to advocates and local entrepreneurs. Join us for the final session in the 2023 NOW Webinar series, featuring two local food systems leaders and 2023 Community Food Systems Fellows, to learn more about their experience, strategies, and lessons learned for building sustainable and meaningful relationships across their local food systems in Jefferson County, Colorado and the Appalachian Region in West Virginia. 


Featured Speakers:


Healing through Community Building and Birth Equity Advocacy

Thursday, May 11, 2023

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern



Join us for the second webinar of our 2023 webinar series, where we’ll hear from community leaders and champions who are working at the intersections of historical and intergenerational trauma, healing, community leadership and building, and maternal health and birth equity. 


Featured Speakers:

  • Omari Maynard, The ARIAH Foundation 

  • Andre Nelson, Luxor Collective

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Vital Village Networks

Participatory Governance Strategies in Early Childhood Education

Thursday, March 30, 2023

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern


In the launch of our 2023 webinar series, we’ll hear from community leaders and champions who are working to center community leadership through participatory governance and decision making strategies within early childhood education. 


Featured speakers:

  • Marisa Fear, Strategies for Children

  • Yolanda Ramos, Together for Kids Coalition

  • Damaris Alvarado-Rodriguez, Children's Playhouse Early Learning Center

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Vital Village Networks



Featured Workshop: Food as a Public Work

Thursday, November 17, 2022

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern


Join us for the third and final installment of the Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW) 2022 Webinar Series, featuring Pantaleon Florez III of Maseualkualli Farms and Vital Village Networks 2022 Community Food Systems Fellow. This session will feature a workshop on the Food as a Public Work Campaign that seeks to reintegrate private lands into public commons while enacting food and agricultural producer justice via a targeted universalism approach. ​


Featured Speakers:

Cooperatives as a Practice of Community Leadership

Thursday, August 25, 2022

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern


Through the NOW Cooperative Design Lab Series in Spring 2021, NOW partnered with 15 community champions from across the country to embark on a journey of reimagining funding structures to center, honor, and uphold the values of local communities and coalitions. Through the application of human-centered design, participants worked together to identify barriers of traditional and current funding structures and explore alternative solutions. Together, they developed a reflection guide that encourages funders and their potential partners to think intentionally about the goals and outcomes of their relationship, focused on a set of key Guiding Principles and Practices that build on elements of successful cooperative and collaborative structures. During this conversation you’ll hear from a member of the design group that worked on the reflection guide, as well as learn more about how key practices of cooperative structures can foster and promote sustainable community leadership.


Featured Speakers:

  • Stephanie Waters, Young Child Wellness Council / Black Warrior Community Action Team

  • Darnell Adams, Firebrand Cooperative

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Vital Village Networks


Community Food Systems, Maternal Health and Justice

Thursday, March 24, 2022

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern


Join us for the launch of our 2022 webinar series, where we’ll hear from community leaders and champions who are working to build equitable and resilient food systems at the intersection of maternal health and justice.


Featured Speakers:

  • Tonni Oberly, MPH, CHES, CLC, Research Scholar, National Birth Equity Collaborative

  • India Hinton, MS, CNS, LDN, Maternal and Child Health Advocate 

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Vital Village Networks


Nurturing Family Leadership: Community-Centered Equity Practices

Reimagining Child Welfare: Equitable Models for Collaborative Family Leadership

Thursday, December 9, 2021

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern


This session will reimagine child welfare systems by exploring innovative community-based and peer-led models to support family strengths, and efforts to address racial justice and equity in child protection.

Featured Speakers:

  • Jeanette Vega, Co- Executive Director for Leadership and Policy, RISE

  • Marv Neal, Executive Director, 365Dad

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of National Partnerships, Vital Village Networks

NOTA: Hay una línea en español disponible para los participantes que deseen escuchar interpretación en vivo durante el seminario web.

Sustaining Family-Led Innovations for Equitable COVID-Recovery

Thursday, June 24, 2021

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern



During the COVID-19 pandemic, parents, caregivers, and other local leaders have pioneered and launched innovative community-based efforts to respond to family and community needs. From neighborhood mutual aid funds, healthy housing and food access resource networks, to advocacy for equitable resources, racial justice, and investment in communities of color most impacted by COVID, these local innovations have pointed to new solutions and structures of collective community care that can ensure the dignity and voice of all children of color and their families for the long term. This session will highlight examples of these innovative family-led efforts and explore what is needed to sustain these solutions for COVID-19 recovery and beyond.

Featured Speakers:

  • Jametta Lilly, Chief Executive Officer, Detroit Parent Network

  • Rosazlia Grillier, Board Member & Co-President of Emeritus, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI)

  • Liliana Olayo, Co-President,, Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI) /POWER-PAC Illinois

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of Operations, Vital Village Networks

NOTA: Hay una línea en español disponible para los participantes que deseen escuchar interpretación en vivo durante el seminario web.

Cooperative Economies for Collective Leadership: New Paradigms for Funding Community-Determined Efforts to Advance Child Wellbeing and Equity

Thursday, April 22, 2021

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern



Cooperatives have long served an important model for building community wellbeing, guided by values of democratic decision making, shared power and ownership, and equitable distribution of health, economic, and social benefits.  Learn from leading experts and practitioners in the field who will provide an overview of the principles and structure of cooperative economies and models, including barriers and challenges, as well as benefits and opportunities of implementing this model to advance community wellbeing.

Featured Speakers:


NOTA: Hay una línea en español disponible para los participantes que deseen escuchar interpretación en vivo durante el seminario web.

Redefining Justice for Children and Families

Thursday, March 25, 2021

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern


As communities across the country confront the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and structural racism, what does justice mean moving forward? Learn from local leaders who are leading transformative work to achieve justice and and honor dignity for children and families. Our featured speakers will share their reflections and experiences in advancing birthing justice, climate justice, and their intersections within the Lowcountry Region of South Carolina.

Featured Speakers:


NOTA: Hay una línea en español disponible para los participantes que deseen escuchar interpretación en vivo durante el seminario web.


Creating Pathways for Community Leadership 

Thursday, November 19, 2020 @ 12-1pm Pacific / 3-4pm Eastern

Harnessing community strengths and assets -- such as existing parent and community leaders -- are critical to building local capacity and scaling up innovative solutions. This session highlights local models for creating sustainable leadership pathways for parents, caregivers, and community stakeholders to not only participate, but also design and implement systems change efforts. Speakers will highlight unsung leadership stories and examples of parent-led efforts to address pressing and emerging community challenges, from improving access to health promoting resources to mitigating natural disasters and COVID-19.

Community-Driven Policy Advocacy: Upholding the Dignity of Immigrant Children and Families

Thursday, July 30, 2020 @ 10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern

What would it look like if our systems and institutions honored the dignity and voice of all Black, indigenous, and children of color and their families? This webinar explores dignity and beloved community in policy advocacy praxis, specifically within the context of ongoing efforts to protect, uphold, and defend the dignity of immigrant children and families. COVID-19 and heightened attention to structural racism have shed further light on the heavy toll of our nation’s fractured systems, coupled with state-sanctioned violence and intertwined systems of detention and incarceration, on the health, wellbeing, safety, and livelihood of immigrant communities. Learn from advocates across the country who are working to dismantle structural racism not only within the immigration system, but other sectors, institutions, and programs -- from public health and early childhood, to education and legal -- that serve immigrant children and families. Speakers will highlight strategies that local coalitions have led to advocate for legislation and policy change, center community voice, and create supportive networks.

Operationalizing Equity through Participatory Data Storytelling

Thursday, April 30, 2020 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Participatory data storytelling is a powerful equity tool for system transformation. Partnering with community stakeholders at all stages of the research process -- from design, to developing shared metrics, to strengths-based data collection, and collaborative analysis -- is critical for creating compelling narratives to tell stories of impact to key audiences.  This interactive session will delve into why equity matters for data storytelling and discuss strategies for data visualization and designing participatory processes. Speakers will highlight local examples of implementing these practices into projects, including a virtual walk through of Vital Village’s Community Housing Data Tool and Child Wellbeing Tracker.


Strategies for Centering Equity in Early Care and Education

Thursday, November 7, 2019 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Research and practice continue to points to the powerful impacts of racial, economic, and social inequities that start early in life and persist across the life course. Across the country, communities are seeking to address these challenges through innovative solutions and collaborative strategies that seek to undo systemic and structural racism within early care and education systems, policies and practices. This webinar will provide an opportunity to learn from Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW) peer mentor coalitions around challenges, successes, and lessons learned as they work to address equity for children and families in their communities. The California Consortium for Equity in Early Care and Education will discuss their efforts to build pathways for emerging and current leaders of color in early care and education who have directly experienced inequity, trauma, and social injustice. In Connecticut, the Opportunity Knocks for Middletown's Young Children Community Collaborative, will share their ongoing efforts to center parent voices and promote aligned policies and programs that ensure all children enter kindergarten physically and emotionally healthy and ready for school success.


Culturally Relevant and Affirming Approaches to Engaging Families:  Reflections from the Brazelton Tribal Touchpoints Initiative

Thursday, September 5, 2019 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Grounding practice in a community’s indigenous knowledge, expertise, and cultural traditions is critical for strengthening early childhood education initiatives. For nearly 20 years, Brazelton Touchpoints Center has worked in partnership with tribal communities to support American Indian/Alaska Native community goals for all children to thrive. This webinar will provide an opportunity to learn from tribal partners and staff with the Tribal Touchpoints Initiative as they reflect on strategies for strengthening collaborations between providers and tribal communities, centering indigenous identity, language, and practice in early learning and healthy development, as well as fostering sustainable peer learning among and between participating communities.

Data Storytelling: Utilizing Data to Tell Stories of Impact and Engage Policymakers

Thursday, July 18, 2019 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Data storytelling can serve as a powerful tool for system transformation, from conveying a community’s vision for health and equity, to translating information into a compelling narrative, to engaging decision makers in championing health-promoting policies and investments. This session will discuss why narrative change strategies are critical to advancing efforts that support the wellbeing of young children and families, and share tools, resources, and examples of designing effective framing and messaging strategies to support your work. Building on the experience of Children’s HealthWatch, speakers will present tools and promising strategies from a new data storytelling toolkit, including how to develop effective frames, design message maps, and plan for dissemination. The session will also lift up examples of applying these narrative strategies, including best practices for communicating the impact of housing on children’s health and wellbeing.

Community Engagement and Leadership: Centering Parents and Families

Thursday, May 2, 2019 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Parents and families play pivotal roles in advancing equitable early childhood, education, and health systems change efforts that promote child wellbeing and prevent early life adversity. Sustainable solutions emerge when driven and led by the wisdom, voices, and experiences of those who are directly impacted by health inequities. Authentic, inclusive community engagement is an ongoing, long-term process that ensures meaningful leadership and co-design roles for community stakeholders and members at every stage of the process — from visioning, assessment, and planning, to decision making, leadership, and advocacy, to implementation and monitoring. In this webinar, speakers from Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere and The Praxis Project will share their models and framework for community engagement and leadership. Speakers will lift up promising practices, reflections, and lessons learned as they engage in these strategies in partnership with communities across the country.

Fostering Thriving Cities: City and Community Partnerships for Early Childhood Success

Thursday, March 21, 2019 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

An aligned and equitable system of early care and education is critical for ensuring that all children grow up healthy and thriving.  Historically, a patchwork quilt of programs that serve young children and their families have developed independently from each other and the resulting fragmentation frequently impedes and limits their effectiveness. Aligning early care and education systems for young children can take a variety of forms and functions.  What is essential is that city leaders and their community partners come together collaboratively to determine what early childhood alignment may look like in their community and how to achieve it. In this webinar hosted by the Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW), the National League of Cities will share best practices and key elements from communities across the country on how community partners, elected officials and families came to partner for early childhood success.

What's Underneath the Iceberg: Unpacking ACEs and Addressing Structural Inequities

Thursday, January 10, 2019 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Across the country, ongoing research and growing attention continues to shed light on the critical role that experiences of trauma and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) -- and the community structures, systems, and policies that drive them -- play in shaping the long term health and wellbeing of children and their families across the life course. Building upon a multi-systems “iceberg” model and Dignity framework, this webinar will explore the multiple layers and systems that contribute to inequities in community experiences and outcomes shaped by early life adversities. Speakers will share how they are unpacking these layers and lift up examples of efforts underway to address these critical issues.

Designing Thinking for Community Change

December 6, 2018 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Design Thinking has emerged as a powerful approach to centering communities in designing solutions and programs focused on preventing childhood adversities and eliminating health inequities. This webinar will provide an introduction to the Design Thinking framework and discuss how this tool can be used to strengthen health equity and community change initiatives that seek to ensure that all children and families thrive in healthy communities. Featured speakers will share innovative examples of how they are utilizing Design Thinking across a range of areas, including education equity, public health, and community engagement.

NOW Innovation Forum Virtual Tour

October 17, 2018 @ 10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

Join us on October 17 for a virtual tour of the NOW Innovation Forum! During this webinar, speakers will provide an interactive walk through of key features and resources, as well as new tools to connect with other members of the NOW community.

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