Ready News: May 3, 2022

Youth Action Hour Wins Webby for Young People Address the Nation State of the Union Event

The Forum is the founding partner of, a national narrative and advocacy initiative launched and managed by a team of young people who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and under the age of 22. We are proud to announce that our colleagues were recently awarded a Webby for their March 1 national digital activation, Young People Address the Nation. As the the second annual youth response to the presidential State of the Union (SOTU), the event brought young leaders, practitioners, and policymakers together to reflect on young people’s priorities for a recovery that is more just, equitable, and sustainable.

Forum consultant Dillon Bernard, 21, who heads the all-youth team, responded to the Webby Award win: “We are grateful that Young People Address the Nation has won a Webby Award for our series. Although we don’t do this work for awards, it does serve as an empowering vote of confidence of our work. We’re charting new territory in the space of youth-led storytelling, and we couldn’t do this without the support of The Forum for Youth Investment team, who are helping us on our goal of shifting narrative power to young people.”

More about Youth Action Hour.

Watch the replay of Young People Address the Nation.

Mental Health, Mental Illness, and SEL: Matching Strategies and Areas of Concern

Readiness Projects Webinar

May 5, 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Mental health and mental illness concerns have risen for students and educators over the course of the pandemic, with a barrage of recent reports declaring a youth mental health crisis. Social and emotional learning (SEL), widely proliferated in districts across the country, has been turned to as an answer. SEL has multiple positive benefits in building more responsive and supportive school climates, but it is not designed to be a treatment or response to mental illness.

In this webinar, co-hosted by AASA and the Forum for Youth Investment, Robert Sherman will explore fundamental differences in the frameworks of mental health, SEL, and mental illness; stigmas which continue to stand in the way of our support for each; and concrete policy and practice suggestions for schools and districts. Alena Zachery-Ross, superintendent of Ypsilanti (Mich.) Community Schools, will respond to Sherman’s framing and share the connections to the work underway in her district. Ypsilanti Community Schools serves just under 4,000 students in preschool through 12th grade.

Youth Perspectives on Designing Equitable Out-of-School Time Programs

Recent studies have revealed an increasing gap in access to and engagement in out-of-school time programs (OST) programs between youth from lower income and higher income families. A new brief from The Wallace Foundation looks at how the proliferation of privatized “pay to play” extracurricular clubs such as sports teams, test preparatory programs and arts programming have amplified this issue. Moreover, youth from low-income families are often unable to participate in these options due to a variety of factors and obligations.

Read the brief.

Data Symposium: Putting Data to Work for Young People

Every Hour Counts Virtual Event

Wednesday, May 4, 12-4:30 PM ET

Join Every Hour Counts on May 4 to strategize with peers about how to collect, analyze, and use data to advance racial equity and drive continuous improvement in your community.

  • Engage in carefully curated sessions that highlight effective strategies and offer solutions to common data challenges;
  • Build your capacity to capture, interpret, and share youth, program, and community outcomes;
  • Prioritize racial equity across your measurement tools, strategies, and systems; and
  • Connect with creative minds and experts across the country.

Featuring eight workshops presented by leaders from communities across the country and a special plenary: Putting Data to Work for Young People with Dr. Femi Vance, Senior Researcher at American Institutes for Research; Dr. Jennifer McCombs, Director of Research, Learning Policy Institute; Gigi Antoni, Director of Learning and Enrichment, The Wallace Foundation; and local leaders.

Applications Open for the 2023 Young Scholars Program

The Foundation for Child Development’s Young Scholars Program (YSP) supports scholarship for early-career researchers and is now open for applications for the 2023 cohort. The program funds implementation research that is policy- and practice-relevant and that examines the preparation, competency, compensation, well-being, and ongoing professional learning of the early care and education (ECE) workforce.

The Foundation regards diversity as an asset for building a strong and productive society and is committed to diversity and equity in scholarship and through its grantees.