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Learning and Transforming Together: Community-Centered Equity Practices

Join the Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing at Vital Village Networks for a three-part webinar series designed to build the capacity of local coalitions, community leaders, and agency partners who are working together to align community systems and promote child and family wellbeing. Each virtual session will feature innovative strategies and lessons from the field around three critical equity practices: participatory data storytelling, community-driven policy advocacy, and creating pathways for community leadership.

Creating Pathways for Community Leadership 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

12-1pm Pacific / 3-4pm Eastern

View Webinar Archive >>


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.

Featured speakers:

  • Allentza Michel, Founder, Powerful Pathways

  • Regina Elmi, Executive Director, Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond; Parent Leader, Family Leadership Design Collaborative

  • Ann Ishimaru, Associate Professor of Education, University of Washington; Co-principal investigator, Family Leadership Design Collaborative

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


Simultaneous Spanish interpretation services will be available / La interpretación simultánea en español estará disponible

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

Thursday, July 30, 2020

10-11am Pacific / 1-2pm Eastern

View Webinar Archive >>


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.

Featured speakers:

  • Angela Kelly, Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network (BIJAN)

  • Cindy Liou, Esq., Director of State Policy, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)

  • Wendy Miron, LCSW, Senior Director of Social Services, Kids In Need of Defense (KIND)

  • Liza Schwartzwald, JD,  Manager of Education Policy, New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC)

  • Moderator: Ronda Alexander, Director of Operations, Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing


NOTA: Una versión en español está disponible para los participantes que desean escuchar interpretación en vivo durante el seminario web. Para acceder a esta función, después de iniciar el enlace del seminario web, marque esta línea de audio en español: Marque: 1 646 558 8656 EE. UU. // ID de la reunión: 981 1600 0996

WEBINAR ARCHIVE: Operationalizing Equity through Participatory Data Storytelling

Thursday, April 30, 2020

10-11 am PT / 1-2 pm ET

View Webinar Archive >>

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.


Featured speakers:

  • Soojin Conover, PhD, Senior Research Analyst, Vital Village Network 

  • Yusuf Ali, Network Coordinator, Vital Village Network 

  • Renee Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD, Founding Director, Vital Village Network

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



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.

Vital Village is a network of residents and organizations committed to maximizing child, family, and community well-being. Vital Village is based at Boston Medical Center.  

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