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2017 Advancing Family Engagement Conference

Wednesday - March 15, 2017

by Kaila Davis

Atlanta’s unpredictable weather and relentless morning traffic didn’t stand a chance against the passionate attendees of the Advancing Family Engagement Conference hosted by United Way of Greater Atlanta.

Held at The Loudermilk Center on Feb. 15-16, 103 participants from seven counties arrived each day eager not only to learn, but also to share their experiences with their peers that work in similar capacities.

In attendance were 30 teams, including representatives from Atlanta Public Schools, Butts, Clayton and DeKalb County school systems, Georgia State University, Morehouse College, Georgia Department of Public Health and a variety of UWGA partners and grantees.

Through breakout sessions and presenters, the participants acquired the necessary skills to diminish social and cultural isolation, build mutually respectful and collaborative relationships, build capacity of families to be self- determining and a number of other principles.

Magdalena Perez, a member of the planning committee said, “I’m excited to see how all of the attendees implement their newfound knowledge in their every day practices with the families they serve and other people they interact with in a daily basis.”

Majority of the attendees agreed that the conference encouraged them to get to know their communities better, to become more intentional in their family engagement goals to be more assertive in creating opportunities for lasting change.

One participant stated, “This conference has mentally empowered me to step outside of myself and observe what I need emotionally in order to impact those around me professionally, spiritually, physically and socially.”

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