Annual Community Dialogue 2013

May 30, 2013

Annual Community Dialogue 2013 at WheelockWheelock College today hosted its eighth Annual Community Dialogue on Early Education and Care. This year's event, titled "Raising Our Voices: The Power of Advocacy," focused on the need for universal pre-kindergarten.

The daylong conference brought together more than 170 people seeking to improve the quality and effectiveness of early childhood education, including: care providers, policymakers, educators, and federal, local, and state administrators. Wheelock has hosted the conference each spring since 2006.

The landscape of administration, policy, and provision of early education and care in Massachusetts is evolving, with changes in direction, financing and scope of services. The Annual Community Dialogue is a place to discuss what kind of new leadership and alliances are needed to achieve a more cohesive delivery system, dedicated to equitable and high quality programming in all domains of the field. Guest speakers representing national, state, and local organizations, government, and programs listen and discuss questions and issues together with the audience.

The 2013 event featured presentations by:

  • Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley
  • Former Mayor of Northampton Mary Clare Higgins
  • State Senator Sal N. DiDomenico (Middlesex and Suffolk)
  • State Representative Aaron Vega (Fifth Hamden)
  • Westfield City Councilor Agma Maria Sweeney

In addition, a series of interactive panels featured early childhood leaders such as:

  • Najeema Holas-Huggins, Manager of Marketing and Assistant Researcher, Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children (BTWIC) 
  • Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Professor Emerita, Lesley University, Defending the Early Years
  • Hanna Gebretensae, Director of Early Childhood Programs, Aspire Institute
  • Joelle Auguste, Director, Multilingual Action Council, Wheelock College
  • Mav Pardee, Program Manager and Marty Cowden, Associate Program Manager, Children's Investment Fund 
  • Amy O'Leary and Emily Levine, Strategies for Children

Visit the Annual Community Dialogue web page to learn more.

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