January 2023 Partner Plan Act Newsletter

January 6, 2023

“White privilege works by making the advantages white people have invisible while making the supposedly ‘poor’ choices of people of color hyper visible.”- Brittney Cooper, Author

Community Systems Statewide Supports (CS3)  

Save-the-Date! The annual Partner Plan Act Conference, Equity from the Start: Overcoming Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities, will take place virtually from May 16-18, 2023. Registration will open in the Spring 2023. Check out the www.partnerplanact.org website for more updates.  

Is your community making efforts towards creating a more equitable ECEC system? We want to hear from you! Please consider submitting a conference breakout session proposal. You can find the application here in English and here in Spanish. Submissions are due Friday, January 27, 2023, and should be submitted to partnerplanact@actforchildren.org with the subject line [2023 PPA CONFERENCE RFP]. Any questions, please reach out to Kristen Garcia at kristen.garcia@actforchildren.org.    

Exploring Workforce Opportunities and Challenges in Illinois’ Community Systems Development Field   

During the last few years, the CS3 team has supported the development of community collaborations in different ways through its wide-range of training and technical assistance supports. We have witnessed staffing challenges within collaborations, particularly in the collaboration lead role, through our time working with communities. Over the course of three months (April-June 2022), CS3 with the support of Adria Husband, an independent racial equity consultant, held one-on-one interviews and focus groups with almost 40 current and former collaboration leaders and other key stakeholders to better understand this issue. The goal was to connect with a variety of collaboration leaders to hear about their experiences and perspectives on the core challenges preventing people from entering or staying in Community Systems Development (CSD)/collaboration work. Please read the report here.   


School suspensions are an adult behavior 

There is an epidemic of school suspensions in the U.S. and the downstream consequences are severe. Adults suspend students, and while that may sound obvious, Dr. Rosemarie Allen, Professor at Metro State University and intern on the Early Childhood Taskforce with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative”, realized that the problem might be the solution. When dealing with the difficult behaviors of children, what if we turned our focus inward? Dr. Allen works passionately to ensure that children have access to high-quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. 

How childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime 

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect, and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. This is why it is so important that we have systems of care that support children and families.  

Trainings and Events  

Intro to Systemic Racism| Wednesday, January 25 – Thursday, January 26, 2023 
The CS3 Team is working with Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (CROAR) to offer a workshop called Introduction to Systemic Racism on Wednesday, January 25 and Thursday January 28, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Understanding that oppression and racism are not only matters of individual prejudice, but also a systemic, institutional problem of power that require structural intervention to dismantle is foundational to the Introduction to Systemic Racism workshop. This workshop is designed for individuals who want their staff and leadership team to understand the systemic nature of racism and the role institutions play. 

*There is a limited capacity of 30 participants for this training. Please only sign up if you are committed to attending both days. Signing up does not guarantee a spot.   

Register here!  

How to Engage Parents in the Role of Family and Community Expert | Tuesday, January 31, 2023 –10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 

Collaborations that engage parents in the role of Family and Community Expert ask them about their experiences and use their feedback to influence the collaboration’s community systems change work. In this role, collaborations ask parents for input through a variety of mediums such as surveys, focus groups, small in-person meetings, etc. Join the first part of a four-workshop series to gain practical steps to engaging parents as Family and Community Experts. 

This training is Gateways approved and first in a four-part workshop series, Practical Strategies to Engage Parents in Your Collaboration Four-Part Workshop Series, presented by the CS3 team. 


How to Engage Parents in the Role of Collaboration Leader | Tuesday, February 28, 2023 –10am – 12pm 

Early childhood collaborations recruit and support parents to actively participate in the role of Collaboration Parent Leader. In this role, parents share leadership and decision-making power with other collaboration members and engage other parents. Join the second part of a four-part workshop series to gain practical steps to engaging parents as Collaboration Parent Leaders. 
This training is Gateways approved and second in a four-part workshop series, Practical Strategies to Engage Parents in Your Collaboration Four-Part Workshop Series, presented by the CS3 team.