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The Forum’s Thought Leadership Roundtable: A Conversation with Merita Irby

May 5, 2021

In April and May of 2021, Karen Pittman sat down with the Forum’s three program executives and, together, they told the broader story of how the Forum is changing the odds for young people and explored the future of our work to advance equity, research, policy, and practice across all the systems and settings that shape young people’s lives.

Watch Karen's recent interview with Merita Irby, co-founder and Executive Vice President of the Forum and Managing Partner of Big Picture Approach Training and Consulting. Big Picture Approach is the Forum’s most visible effort devoted to planning and partnering for impact.

A Reflection on the Derek Chauvin Verdict

April 23, 2021

On April 20th, the jury returned their verdict – guilty as charged on three counts for the murder of George Floyd. Moments before the judge read the verdict, my heart was pounding, hoping for the “best”, but fearing more of the same– a country that consistently fails to hold those who murder Black bodies accountable for their crimes. And knowing that my hope for a guilty verdict – even as it was realized – does not represent justice. As Brittany Packnett Cunningham has consistently reminded, justice would be George Floyd still alive. The fact that this was not justice was amplified by the murder of another child, Ma’Khia Bryant, at the hands of police mere minutes after the verdict was read. The brokenness of our systems is breaking our children, especially Black children, and in turn our future.

A Conversation with Kimberly Howard Robinson, Ph.D.

April 21, 2021

In April and May of 2021, Karen sat down with the Forum’s three program executives and, together, they tell the broader story of how the Forum is changing the odds for young people and explore the future of our work to advance equity, research, policy, and practice across all the systems and settings that shape young people’s lives. Each executive leads a unit and a set of named centers and initiatives intended to drive one of the Forum’s strategic approaches.

Karen interviewed Kimberly Howard Robinson, Ph.D., Executive Vice President of the Forum and Managing Director of our Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality. The Weikart Center is the Forum’s most visible effort devoted to strengthening practices and programs.

Making It: What Today’s Kids Need for Tomorrow’s World

April 12, 2021

In April’s Changing the Odds discussion, Karen was joined by Stephanie Malia Krauss, Senior Advisor at JFF and author of Making It: What Today’s Kids Need for Tomorrow’s World.

Karen and Stephanie’s colleagueship started with Karen giving Stephanie an audacious challenge: create a universal list of competencies youth need to succeed that speaks clearly to young people, resonates with leaders across multiple systems, and is grounded in everything we know about learning and development. The result was Ready by Design: The Science (and Art) of Youth Readiness.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important