Opening Remarks

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist has dedicated his career to fixing problems for hardworking families. From spearheading campaigns for equality and justice to harnessing technology to solve everyday problems for Detroiters, his focus has consistently remained on serving the public by getting things done.

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Imperative Leads Table Talk

Dawne Bell

Dawne Bell has over eighteen years of experience as a nonprofit leader and professional fundraiser, specializing on issues such as early care and education, domestic violence, health care, housing and homelessness and workforce development.

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Furqan Khaldun

Furqan Khaldun is the Co-coordinator for HSH Imperative #2; Detroit Champions for Hope and has been involved with Hope Starts Here for the past 4 years. Furqan has two decades of experience in Community and Youth Development, his work spans multiple cities including Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City where he got his start at the Harlem Children’s Zone, and 4 years ago he was introduced to Detroit when the preeminent Alice G. Thompson hired him at Black Family Development, Inc.

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Jeffrey Henze

Jeff Henze serves as Program Manager for Early Childhood Services at IFF. In this role he is responsible for the overall management, growth, and strategic direction of the Learning Spaces Program.

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Jeffrey Miles

Bio Coming Soon.

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Jeremiah White

Jeremiah White is the Implementation Success Manager serving at Hope Starts Here (HSH), Detroit’s Early Childhood Collaborative. Diversity among partners is a critical asset of community change – Mr. White invests his efforts toward building a culture of accountability through organizing partners for equitable contributions.

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Dr. Kimberlydawn Wisdom, M.D., M.S.

Kimberlydawn Wisdom is the Chief Wellness and Diversity Officer at the Henry Ford Health System and is a part of the Advisory Committee on Minority Health. She previously served as Michigan’s First Surgeon General from 2003-2010 and went on to be appointed to the Advisory Group on Prevention by President Obama.

Break Out Session 1

Mina Hong

Mina Hong, Senior Policy Manager at Start Early, formerly known as the Ounce of Prevention Fund. Start Early’s mission is to advance quality early learning for families with children, before birth through their earliest years, to close the opportunity gap. Mina Hong is a senior policy manager who provides policy and advocacy consultation and support to states to strengthen and expand high-quality early childhood programs and services.

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Chioke Mose-Telesford

Chioke Mose-Telesford is the Director of Systems Alignment and Policy for the Office of Workforce Development at the City of Detroit. Her work focuses on reducing systemic barriers to employment for Detroit at Work jobseekers and creating better opportunities for adults with criminal records, skills gaps or disabilities.

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Kenyatta Stephens

Kenyatta Stephens serves as Chief Executive Officer of Black Family Development, Inc. Black Family Development, Inc. (BFDI) is a comprehensive non-profit family counseling agency created in 1978 by the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers, committed to equity and supporting families throughout the lifespan.

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Amy Zaagman

Amy Zaagman is the executive director of the Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health. In that role, she is a member of Michigan’s Home Visiting Workgroup and an advocate for home visiting for young children and their families in Michigan.

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Break Out Session 2

Kathleen Alessandro

Kathleen Alessandro serves as Executive Director of Everybody Ready, an early childhood non-profit in Detroit/Wayne County. She manages a team of incredibly smart, passionate, can-do people who are laser-focused on building and maintaining an accessible, equitable early childhood system in Detroit/Wayne County.

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Jaye Clement

Jaye Clement is the Director of Community Health Programs and Strategies at Henry Ford Health System. She is responsible for aligning the System’s commitment to its communities by engaging partners and managing metrics that contribute to community health improvement strategies.

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Paul Elam, PhD

Public policy research and evaluation expert covering racial and ethnic disparities for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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Shondra L. Marshall

Shondra L. Marshall is the Implementation Policy and Research Manager at Hope Starts Here: Detroit’s Early Childhood Partnership. In this role she explores the impact of early childhood education and the intersectionality of policy, data, research, and practice.

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Break Out Session 3

Matt Gillard

Matt Gillard is the president and CEO of Michigan’s Children, where he oversees all of Michigan’s Children’s programs and operations. As former state representative for the 106th District, Gillard served six years in the Michigan House of Representatives, concluding his service in 2008 due to term limits.

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James Ribbron

I have over 25 years years of legislative experience, 15 years of government executive management experience and 35 years of community leadership beginning 1988 as the President of the Davison Association of Neighborhood Block Clubs to today where I serve on the Board of Directors of Detroit Future City and Co-Leader with Impact Detroit.

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Pat Sorenson

Pat Sorenson rejoined the Michigan League for Public Policy in September 2012 as a senior policy analyst working on state budget and tax policies. Pat was the senior director for policy and advocacy at the Early Childhood Investment Corporation; vice president for policy at Michigan’s Children; and a senior planning and research associate at the League, serving as the organization’s first Kids Count director.

Alicia Guevara Warren

Alicia Guevara Warren is the Director of Statewide Policy Initiatives for the Early Childhood Investment Corporation. Guevara Warren is also one of 15 members in the 2019–21 class of the Casey Foundation’s Children and Family Fellowship.

Prior to her latest appointments, Guevara Warren worked with the Michigan League for Public Policy in 2014 as tax policy analyst, and became the Kids Count in Michigan Project Director in June 2015. She worked with Michigan’s Children, Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, and School-Community Health Alliance of Michigan.

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Table Talk: Resilience In The Face of Adversity

Denise Smith

Denise is the first implementation director of Hope Starts Here Detroit Early Childhood Partnership. Denise brings to this role a wealth of experience as an early childhood leader in Detroit and throughout the state of Michigan, rooted in her deep, personal commitment to children, families, and community. Her visionary leadership will propel the implementation of Hope Starts Here to new levels of effectiveness.

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Wendy Ellis, DrPH, MPH

Wendy Ellis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Director of the Center for Community Resilience at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. The Building Community Resilience (BCR) collaborative and networks are implementing the BCR process — a strategic approach for cross-sector partners to align resources, programs and initiatives with community based efforts to address adverse childhood experiences and adverse community environments– or as Ellis has coined it “The Pair of ACEs”.

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Dr. Iheoma U. Iruka

Dr. Iruka is a Research Professor in Public Policy and Director of Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity at UNC-Chapel Hill where she will focus on Early Childhood Health and Racial Equity. Her former posts include chief research officer for HighScope Educational Research Foundation, director of research and evaluation at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute at the Univ. of Nebraska and associate director at the FPG Child Development Institute at UNC-Chapel Hill.

October 13th
10am – 1pm

Engaging as & with policy influencers to shape equitable conditions for Detroit children & families.

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