A Monthly Comm(unity) Newsletter
June 2022 - Welcome to the June edition of the Inside Erikson newsletter!
This month, we are honoring LGBTQIA Pride month and Juneteenth. Both of these events would not have happened without policy change at the national level, starting the long process of dismantling systemic bias. Policy change has been at the forefront in the past two weeks as our nation once again reels from senseless mass shootings which have renewed calls for better policies around gun safety and mental health. Creating a future where all children and those who care for them can live, learn, and love safely requires continual effort—just as the struggle for liberation for Black and LGBTQIA Americans is not yet “over.” Freedom requires action by everyone—allies and impacted groups—to create and maintain systems that support that vision.
Congratulations, President Mariana Souto-Manning, Barbara Taylor Bowman, 1,800 Days Podcast Host and WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore, CEO of Carole Robertson Center Bela Motè, and Illinois State Senator Cristina Pacione-Zayas for leading an engaging panel discussion last month around the 1,800 Days podcast and what the future for early childhood care and education looks like for childcare, children, parents, and teachers. Erikson’s podcast “1,800 Days” five-episode series is complete, but let’s keep the conversation going. You can listen to the podcast here, and a video of the panel will be available on that page soon.
Risk and Reach Report
Mental health and policy changes are currently on everyone’s mind. Let data drive the conversation, the Risk and Reach report examines 15 risk factors affecting child development and breaks it down data by county and by legislative district. This is the most detailed look at the health of the state’s 945,000 children under five as well as the state’s early education system. For the interactive map and read the report view here.
Erikson’s Annual Luncheon raises funds for groundbreaking programs that empower early childhood professionals to help children achieve their full potential. The event sparks thought-provoking dialogue that stimulates ideas and critical thinking to address the challenges we face in our society.
Our 2022 Spirit of Erikson Honoree is Cari Sacks, and Michelle Obama is our featured guest. Learn more on our webpage here. More details will be added in the near future. Erikson is currently seeking event sponsorships, but we will be sending official invitations closer to the end of the summer and there will be opportunities at non-sponsorship levels at that time.
Erikson Institute has a wonderful group of life trustees and board members, and we are thrilled to share more about them and their commitment to the organization with you. We hope that you enjoy reading about these lovely individuals as much as we have enjoyed interviewing them.
Meet our June featured Life Trustee, Scott Steffens
Name: Scott Steffens
Erikson Trustee Since: 2015
What motivates you to support Erikson?
SS: I have always been drawn to educational causes as I am a firm supporter that early childhood education provides an important foundation for the future of young people. Erikson proves and reaffirms the importance of why child development matters through its work, research and data. That coupled by the invitation to be involved by Bruce Huey got me hooked. He was convincing and he got me to join the board.
What is your one hope or dream for Erikson?
SS: That Erikson will remain accessible to all the teachers that will benefit from an advanced degree regardless of ability to pay for the degree themselves all while being less dependent on governmental funding and assistance to make that happen.
SS: I recommended Patty Lawson for the CFO position in 2015. Patty and I have known each other for more than three decades since attending college at DePaul University.
Sara Anderson, Associate Director of the Center for Children and Families (CCF), spoke with WBEZ Reporter Stephanie Kim on the new Illinois initiative aimed at improving children’s behavioral health services. Listen to the interview here.
Dr. Gillian McNamee, Director of the Early Childhood Education Program spoke with Health Day News on children and lying and addressing the behavior. Read the article here.
Recognized for our groundbreaking work in the field of early childhood, Erikson specializes in preparing child development, education, and social work leaders to improve the lives of young children, families, and their communities. For more information on our degree and certificate programs, visit our website or email our admissions team.
Erikson’s Center for Children and Families offers pediatric mental health services for children birth to age 8 and their families. Services can be provided in both English and Spanish, and are available to families regardless of their ability to pay.
Erikson’s Policy and Leadership department engages leaders in government, business, and nonprofit sectors to inform effective policies that benefit children and families. They offer unique programming that equips decision-makers and influencers with the resources, skills, and deep knowledge about early childhood development that will support their efforts to make lasting change. Learn more about our Policy and Leadership.
The first 1,100 days of life set the stage for a child’s long-term physical and emotional health, socioeconomic trajectory, life expectancy, happiness, and well-being. Can we count on you to make a gift to strengthen our ability to serve children and families, as well as our students, faculty, and staff, during this time? Your support for Erikson prepares the heroes in young children’s lives—teachers, social workers, civic leaders, parents and caregivers—to get them safely through this crisis so they can soar into promising futures. Please donate here.
Join the Erikson family with monthly news + events updates shared by academics, community members, and families.