Defending Childhood Initiative Leaders Convene in Washington, DC
Futures Without Violence recently convened more than 75 leaders in Washington, DC who are working to prevent children’s exposure to violence as part of the Department of Justice’s Defending Childhood Initiative.
The agenda included presentations by researchers, advocates, program innovators and survivors of violence who shared the latest research and promising practices, coupled with personal stories of courage and resiliency. Highlights included Speakers Erik Bringswhite (Touch the Clouds), Dr. Dorothy Espelage (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Mo Barbosa (Health Resources in Action), each of whom shared their vision of how to effectively engage youth to garner change. Table top discussions further challenged participants to consider cutting edge topics such as engaging men in violence prevention; dismantling the school to prison pipeline; and working with health care providers as first responders, among others.
The Defending Childhood Initiative, a signature project of U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, engages six cities and two tribes in comprehensive solutions to address all forms of violence against children. The meeting was convened across three days at the National Museum of the American Indian, a provocative backdrop to the challenge of building futures without violence. Featured speaker, Ruby White Starr (National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges) eloquently tied-in the data, innovations, and stories circulated across the meeting’s three days. Ms. White Starr reminded the group that paradigms—a map inlaid in the mind which determines the way we each see the world—can only shift when a transformation takes place in our hearts and minds. This is the collective work of the Defending Childhood Initiative—shaping new strategies to transform the hearts and minds of parents, professionals and community members so that every child is inherently protected, afforded the support to heal from exposure to violence, and leads a life in which they thrive.
Learn more about the Defending Childhood Initiative.
Photos: (Top) Seventy-five leaders recently convened in Washington, DC as part of the Department of Justice’s Defending Childhood Initiative. (Bottom) L-R Speakers: Erik Bringswhite (Touch the Clouds), Dr. Dorothy Espelage (University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign) and Mo Barbosa (Health Resources in Action).