LaDonna Redmond, a food justice activist, inspired us to focus on how we can build a future of health and prosperity for all.
Her keynote address and the discussions that followed challenged us to shift the current narrative of lack and insecurity to building societies free from various forms of oppression including food injustice.
Jessica Lynch, a former Private First Class (PFC) in the United States Army and a former Prisoner of War, spoke to us about the importance of perseverance during our Spring 2017 Think Tank event on April 5. She had been injured and captured by Iraqi forces in March of 2003 after her unit was ambushed in Iraq. She was rescued after nine days in captivity on April 1, 2003 by U.S. special operations forces. Jessica’s rescue was the first successful rescue of an American POW since World War II.
Our think-tank session on April 6 featured a plenary panel and breakout sessions on the topics of toxic stress, adverse childhood experiences, trauma-informed care and teaching, resilience and wellbeing.
Dr. Crystal Laura helped us to broaden the discussion around school- and community-based efforts that can disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline.
The goal of the think tank was to develop individual and collective commitments to address the issues raised throughout Dr. Laura’s talk and the resulting discussions.
His most recent book is Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Bloomsbury Press. His career as a journalist has spanned almost 30 years. He lived for 10 years as a freelance writer in Mexico, where he wrote his first two books. In 2004, he returned to the United States to work for the L.A. Times, covering immigration, drug trafficking, neighborhood stories, and gangs.
Too many of today’s students, particularly those in impoverished neighborhoods, are not receiving the educational opportunities they need and deserve. Suggested strategies for integrating academic scholarship and reform efforts via social media and other alliances to improve student achievement and school success via community-based reform were presented.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO OF DR. VASQUEZ HEILIG'S PRESENTATION