On Sept. 28, more than 300 of our community’s child advocates will gather at TriPoint for Voices for Children’s annual Congress on Children, now in its 20th year. Congress on Children is an opportunity to learn about the latest research and programs that address critical issues for our community’s children, a chance to network with other caring child advocates and to prioritize our efforts to ensure a bright tomorrow for all our children. Anyone interested in the well-being of our community’s children is welcome. The generosity of community partners and sponsors has enabled Congress on Children to continue as a community service, with registration for the all-day event at $20.
The focus this year on Adverse Childhood Experiences, trauma, and toxic stress and how our community can support children and adults is relevant in a community that struggles with high levels of poverty, child maltreatment, and low educational attainment — and can do better. Adverse Childhood Experiences – ACEs – have been shown to increase the risk for chronic disease in later life as well as a host of both short- and long-term poor outcomes.
Please join us in welcoming as our keynote speaker Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., Founder of Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. Father Boyle is the author of the New York Times bestseller Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion, which was named one of the Best Books of 2010 by Publishers Weekly and received the PEN Center USA 2011 Creative Nonfiction Award. His recent book, Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship, brings stories of trauma, tragedy, tenderness, and resilience in the most difficult times. Boyle will address the issue of childhood trauma, resilience, and how a community can build a culture of tenderness. His experience and stories – and his wisdom born of three decades of witnessing trauma, pain, and the healing power of compassion – will both educate and inspire.
The afternoon features Gerald Magin, principal of an alternative disciplinary high school in Fort Worth Independent School District who brought trauma-informed/building relationship practices to his school. As an educator and school administrator of nearly four decades, he was able to overcome the skepticism of many colleagues. His school district and many others who now visit have seen the transformation in the school and in the lives and the futures of the students. Lindsay Bira, a local health psychologist, will present the closing session on the brain, trauma (and what we can do about it) and will lead the group in learning about and practicing mindfulness. We invite you to join us at the 20th Congress on Children.
Dinner the evening before offers an opportunity for those who cannot attend the full day events to join community leaders and others in meeting and hearing from the speakers who will present at Congress on Children on Friday.
For information on either event, see Voices’ website at www.voicessa.org or call 210-858-8175, #2.