Approximately 200 individuals participated in FOCAL’s 42nd Annual Training Conference which was held on Saturday, November 15 at Troy University Montgomery. FOCAL’s conference theme this year was “Child Care and Race: Why Race Matters” with Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative, as the luncheon keynote speaker. The conference began on Friday night with our “Raising the Curtain on Race” event which is a conversation/discussion on issues relating to education, employment and relationships involving race. Nearly 70 participants packed the room at the Homewood Inn & Suites prior to the discussions to listen to panelists Catherine Coleman-Flowers, Sophia Bracy-Harris and the Rev. Lawton Higgs discuss their first experiences with racial injustices.
FOCAL’s session on Saturday also began with several forums that ranged from Early Education, Community and Youth in Action. The morning forums featured an array of panelists such as Dr. Calvin Moore, Maria Dacus, Tammie Long, Ethel White, Ron Collier, Annie Pettway, Hamima Shabazz, Joe Keffer, and Tammy Thomas-Miles. The luncheon keynote speaker, Bryan Stevenson, founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), warmed the hearts of all present as he shared his humble beginnings of nurturing that laid the foundation for the passion he has for the work he is doing today. Afternoon workshops consisted of topics on Advocacy, Roles of Black fathers, Building Sustainable Partnerships and Talking to your Child about Race. The Youth presentations in the closing session was awesome as usual. The Board and Staff of FOCAL would like to thank each participant and presenter for their support of this 42nd Annual Training Conference celebration and would extend a sincere appreciation to Dr. Bryan Stevenson and the staff of EJI for their love and support of the work of FOCAL.
Please see the following link to media clip of FOCAL’s 42nd Annual Training Conference. http://www.wsfa.com/Clip/