Wednesday, May 19

10:00-10:30 AM

Optional: Mindfulness for All with Knellee

Knellee Bisram, Social and Emotional Learning Specialist, Prime Time Palm Beach County, Inc.

We started the Ready by 21 National Meeting with a fun, dynamic, and culture-rich mindfulness session! Together we practiced trauma-sensitive expressive movement for all ages and abilities followed by a self-regulating awareness of breath exercise that can be used on a daily basis. These mindful awareness healing-centered practices help us to cultivate embodied presence, stimulate the relaxation response, and deepen our sense of identity, belonging and interconnection. No props needed.


11:00 AM-12:30 PM

Opening Plenary: Disruptions and Opportunities in a Year Like None Other
  • Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, Learning Policy Institute
  • Lisa Hamilton, President and CEO, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Meg Blinkiewicz, Executive Director, Kalamazoo Youth Development Network
  • Chekemma J. Fulmore-Townsend, President and CEO, Philadelphia Youth Network
  • Bryan Samuels, Executive Director, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
  • Elizabeth Whitford, CEO, School’s Out Washington
  • Moderator: Merita Irby, Managing Partner, Big Picture Approach Training & Consulting/Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, The Forum for Youth Investment

This year brought change and disruptions we never could have expected. It shone a bright light on challenges in our systems and society. It also revealed great potential and possibility. We began our two days together by taking time to reflect on the past year and look ahead to the potential before us. Presenters and panelists helped us consider the opportunity the current moment presents to reimagine and recreate in ways that leverage innovations and lessons learned to truly change the odds for young people.

1:30-2:45 PM

Workshops Round 1

Click here for recordings, materials, descriptions and presenters for these sessions.

Belonging as Agency: Supporting Transformative Learning and Development for Youth and Young Adults

COVID Relief Funding for Kids Crash Course

Deconstructing YPQI Part 1: Meaningful Assessment and Data Collection

DIY Advocacy Agenda – Leave Ready to Act

Essentials of Quality Social and Emotional Learning Practice

Now is the Time to Build Forward Together

Putting Equity into Action: Lessons from Indiana’s Commission on Improving the Status of Children

Self-Care for Black Staff and Leaders

Stability and Change in Out-of-School Time Systems


3:00-4:15 PM

Workshops Round 2

Click here for recordings, materials, descriptions and presenters for these sessions.

Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities: Assessing Barriers, Promoting Engagement, and Identifying Leading Approaches

Applying Science to Practice: Five Essentials for Learning, Development, and Thriving

The Art of Community Revitalization: An Evidence-Informed Practice Rooted in Storytelling, Youth Culture, and Love

Beyond Being a “Caring Adult”: Making Relationships With Youth Deeply Developmental

Deconstructing YPQI Part 2: Responsive Professional Development and Coaching

Equity, Quality & Partnership – Paving the Way for Children to Find Passion, Purpose & Voice

Fostering Authentic Youth-Adult Partnerships: Supporting Young People to Shape the Strategies and Policies That Affect Them

The National Summer Learning Project

On Becoming an Anti-Racist Organization: Taking Step Zero and Walking the Talk


4:30-5:15 PM

Reflections on the Day

Monica Marie Jones, Senior Field Consultant, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, The Forum for Youth Investment

This session offered the opportunity for participants to network and reflect on what was heard and how these ideas can be implemented.

Our Vision

All young people reach their fullest potential - in education, work, and life.

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