Inside Erikson | November 2020 Newsletter

November, 2020 – This past month, we’ve seen that resiliency is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened in Illinois and nationwide, with a surge in both cases and deaths. Restrictions were reinstated across the city as we head into the Fall flu season. A volatile election cycle ramped up to a conclusion that left the nation in a state of uncertainty until all votes were tallied. “What’s next?” is on everyone’s mind now—what’s next for America, and what’s next our world. While we can’t predict the future, we can continue working together to make it better.

Throughout this time, the Erikson community has remained committed to our mission and carried on our critical work of educating, serving, and advocating on behalf of our youngest children. Internally, our full-time staff began anti-racism training workshops with Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (Chicago ROAR), and we continue working to make Erikson a more equitable community.

As we do each month, we invite you to keep reading to learn more about our upcoming events, ways to get involved, and our faculty’s expertise in issues impacting our children.

Erikson Updates


Support Erikson this Giving Tuesday

Help spread the word about how Erikson prepares the early childhood care and education workforce to change the world. We’ll email you a #GivingTuesday kit so you’ll have multiple ways to show your Erikson pride and encourage giving. All participants will receive a free Notorious BTB tote bag!

Jane Elliott Interview

Jane Elliott Webinar Recording

The State of Early Care & Education and Lifting Up Early Childhood discussion presented a Q&A with renowned anti-racist activist and educator Jane Elliott. Erikson’s Associate VP of Policy Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas moderated the conversation. View a recording of the event.


Every Child Ready Chicago

Last month, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the launch of Every Child Ready Chicago (ECRC), a partnership led by the Mayor’s Office and Start Early (formerly known as the Ounce of Prevention Fund) working to ensure all children in Chicago enter kindergarten ready to succeed. Members of the ECRC Executive Steering Committee include Erikson Associate VP of Policy Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas and Erikson Clinical Professor Dr. Luisiana Meléndez.

webinar Recordings

Erikson Associate Clinical Professor Dr. Pam Epley was a guest on Mocha Talks, exploring how parents are transitioning young children back to school. Dr. Epley and adjunct professor Jena Valdez (MS) also presented a webinar for the Neighborhood Parent’s Network, offering guidance and strategies to support social interactions for young children with developmental differences during Covid-19. And for fun, the Home Visiting Applied Research Collaborative asked researchers and 2020 HARC meeting attendees what fictional family would most benefit from home visiting services. Erikson Associate Professor Dr. Jon Korfmacher weighed in.

Survey Opportunity for Early Childhood Teachers

Erikson’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center is conducting a survey to learn more about the fall remote teaching experiences. They are specifically looking for PreK- 3rd grade educators to complete this 10 minute survey. There is a chance to win one of six $25 Amazon Gift cards for participating.

November 2020 Events

‘Future of Early Math’ Webinar

On November 10 from 2-3:30 p.m. CST, join the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement for a webinar on the future of early math. Dr. Jennifer McCray from Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative will share how researchers communicate and collaborate with systems to forge engaging and effective early math learning environments.

A National Conversation about Race in Early Childhood

On November 12 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. CST, Bright Horizons and the National Head Start Association are convening a free virtual event, A National Conversation about Race in Early Childhood. They will explore the role of research, practice, and policy in elevating Black and Brown leadership in the early childhood education profession. Erikson Clinical Professor Dr. Luisiana Meléndez will moderate the panel, which will include Erikson Associate Professor Dr. Tonya Bibbs.

Erikson Master of Social Work Virtual Information Session

On November 12 from 5 – 6 p.m. CST, members of Erikson’s admission team and program faculty will host a virtual information session about the Master of Social Work program. They will share their stories and passion for working with children, families, and communities, and attendees can have all their questions answered.

Erikson in the News

November News

WGN Election Panel includes Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas

Erikson’s Associate Vice President of Policy Dr. Cristina Pacione-Zayas brought her expertise in grassroots organizing and early childhood to the panel of commentators on WGN News discussing the 2020 election results. You can catch some of her commentary here, beginning around the 53-minute mark.

Dr. Tonya Bibbs discusses childhood mental health

Erikson Associate Professor Dr. Tonya Bibbs was interviewed by Chicago Parent about ways to discuss racism with young children when they see it on TV, movies, and in books. Read the full article.

Podcast featuring Dr. Ashley Curry

Erikson Associate Clinical Professor Dr. Ashley Curry was interviewed for the podcast Who Cares About Research? She discussed her dissertation research exploring relationships between young people aging out of the child welfare system, the elements of relationships that young people valued, and the effects of worker turnover on youth. Listen to the podcast here.

Dr. Amanda Moreno quoted in WBEZ article

Erikson Associate Professor Dr. Amanda Moreno was quoted in this article from WBEZ exploring Chicago Public School’s enrollment numbers.

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About Erikson


Graduate Education

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, click here or email our admissions team.

Clinical and Community Services

As we adapt to these unexpected and challenging times due to COVID-19, Erikson’s Center for Children and Families is offering virtual mental health services to parents, caregivers, and children, as well as crisis counseling and consultation to support first responders and early childcare providers and teachers. Services can be provided in both English and Spanish, and are available to families regardless of their ability to pay.

We have also re-opened our River North clinic for services that require in-person assessments, including Early Intervention Medical and Neurodevelopmental Diagnostic Evaluations.

Our Fussy Baby Network, which helps families struggling with their infants’ crying, sleeping, or feeding, has also pivoted to provide more of its services, like home visits, in a virtual environment.

Policy and Leadership

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.

Give to Erikson

Every gift made to Erikson supports work that has limitless influence, translating directly to innovative programs that empower early childhood professionals, provide services, and shape policies and practices — all helping children and families achieve their full potential. Make a gift to Erikson today.

More Ways To Connect

Learn more about Erikson’s Early Math Collaborative and TEC Center.