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NJEA Conference for Hope and Healing

July 15


As you look at the program listings below, be aware that none of the virtual sessions will be uninterrupted screen sessions of full length. Throughout our virtual gathering, we will invite participants to engage in this learning experience with music, reflection, chat and breakout room conversations. We will invite registrants to be ready to participate on camera in this dynamic digital space.


9 – 11:30 amOpening Keynote Session: New Jersey ACES  Statewide Action Plan and Awareness Campaign

The New Jersey ACEs Action Plan sets forth a path toward making NJ a trauma-informed/healing- centered state. Informed by community voices through focus groups and other convenings, and supported by state government and the philanthropic sector, the NJ ACEs Action Plan calls for a coordinated, cross-sector, statewide response to prevent and mitigate the lasting effects of ACEs on children’s health and well-being.

  • Special Guest Speaker:
    • Dave Ellis, Executive Director of the New Jersey Office of Resilience

11:30 am – 12:30 pmLunch Break & Dance Party with DJ Omé

Celebrate life at our virtual dance party with DJ Omé (they/them) during lunch and connect with other colleagues around the state for this JOY IN JUSTICE.

12:30 – 2 pmThe Core Protective Systems at Work (Choose Your Session)

  • Asbury Park Healing Together with KYDS, Alisha De Lorenzo (she/her), Rodney Salomon (he/him/they)
    • In 2015, a movement began to center healing and transformational experiences for youth and adults who work with youth in Asbury Park.  We believe that all members of a community have access to grow and thrive when we engage minds, bodies and souls in the process of healing. Hear from Asbury Park’s “Konscious Youth Leaders” about what it takes to create a self-healing community.
  • Why Parent Voices are Vital, Panel moderator: Judy Bennett, Programs for Parents, Newark, NJ
    • Join us for a panel discussion with parent leaders, David Armstrong, Naome C. Dunnell and Stacey Smith Ragin, from the Essex County Council for Young Children. They will be discussing the importance of strategies to engage and retain parents, including fathers, parent leadership roles and building relationships as a core protective system for building resilience in our children.
  • Building Self-Healing Communities Becky Dale
    • Communities model, including the cornerstone of relationship, expanding leadership, shared learning, building collective focus, taking the risk to experiment, and the courage to examine and let go of what no longer serves. Optional pre-reading of a report on this topic by Porter, Martin and Anda can be found here .
  • Partnerships for Healing: The Role of the School Nurse,  Robin Cogan
    • Building a coalition with school nurses would create a safety net for our most complex and challenging students while benefiting the whole school community. The collaboration between school nurses and school staff creates safe spaces for students at school. Healthy students are better learners, and this includes physical and social/ emotional health. Learn actionable steps to create healing centered environments beyond the classroom walls.
  • Growing Pains: The Injustice of Generational Trauma
    • Racial and social justice issues have a crippling role in shaping the life course of marginalized people. Impacts of the resulting trauma show up in all facets of community life. This discussion will contextualize the relationship between issues of racial and social justice and their role in maintaining intergenerational trauma. From the lens of economic disparity, criminal justice issues, and access to the democratic process, we will journey through historical and current contexts to provide recommendations for teachers, advocates, and communities to mitigate the impact of ACES and justice issues.
  • Healing Centered Schools, Linsey McMurrin and Stacy Bender-Fayette
    • We know that students do best when they feel safe and connected. This session will discuss how understanding NEAR Science (Neuroscience, Epigenetics, ACES and REsilience) can help transform schools to meet the needs of students and their families.

2 – 3:30 pmClosing Keynote: Hope and Healing in Education

Dr. Shawn Ginwright will take us on a powerful journey toward becoming healing-centered.  A healing-centered approach is holistic involving culture, spirituality, civic action and collective healing.  The term healing-centered engagement expands how we think about responses to trauma and offers a more holistic approach to fostering well-being.

  • Special Guest Speaker: 
    • Shawn Ginwright, PhD.,  Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda, Inc., a national nonprofit consulting firm, whose mission is to design strategies that unlock the power of healing and engage youth of color and adult allies in transforming their schools and communities. 

Also, check out our Radical Imagination Summit for Educators on July 14.


July 15
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