Erikson's first luncheon places "Children at the Forefront"

[img_caption src=”” align=”right” alt=”Children at the Forefront logo”]On October 1, more than 500 luncheon guests joined Erikson to place children and families first.

The Institute’s first-ever Children at the Forefront Luncheon raised more than $800,000 in support of Erikson initiatives in Chicago and around the country. Trustees Sabrina Gracias and Cari Sacks chaired this year’s event.

Read coverage of the event in Crain’s Chicago Business

View event photos in Splash

Erikson at the Forefront

At the luncheon, the guests watched a short video showing how Erikson is leading the way to a better future. The video was generously produced by AdelsteinListon.

“Children at the Forefront” video. Watch on YouTube.

Heckman receives Spirit of Erikson Award

[img_caption src=”” align=”right” caption=”James Heckman” alt=”photo of Heckman”]Barbara T. Bowman, Irving B. Harris Professor of Child Development, presented the Spirit of Erikson Award to Nobel laureate and University of Chicago professor James Heckman. The award recognized Heckman’s groundbreaking research that has proven the great economic gains of investing in early childhood development.

In accepting the award, Heckman recalled the inspiration he received from Erikson when he first began his research. After attending an Erikson conference and talking with Bowman, “I began to realize that the early years were so fundamentally important, something that generally wasn’t a part of economics,” he said. “In some sense, Erikson is honoring themselves for engaging me in this enterprise.”

Lawrence-Lightfoot on voice and visibility

[img_caption src=”” align=”right” caption=”Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot” alt=”photo of Lawrence-Lightfoot”]Following the award presentation, Harvard University sociologist and MacArthur prize winner Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot spoke to attendees on the importance of voice and visibility for young children. In her remarks, she challenged the audience to change the tone, dynamics, and language of the public discourse surrounding education in this country.

“The notion of children at the forefront captures the need to amplify the voices of even the youngest of them, and attentively listen to the text and subtext of their words as they give us clues about how we might best support their learning and growth,” Lawrence-Lightfoot said.

Event photos

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See the generous partners who supported the luncheon