Equity from the Start: Overcoming Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities
May 16-18, 2023
The theme of this year’s Partner Plan Act conference is Equity from the Start: Overcoming Obstacles, Leveraging Opportunities. Over the past few years, we have explored why we should center race in community systems development conversations. Last year, we focused on how to take action and shift power to direct service providers, community members, parents, and families that have been historically left out of these conversations. This year, we hope to build upon last year’s discussion and get candid about the obstacles that are sure to arise for stakeholders that are shifting power to parents, providers, community members, and families. We also hope to discuss opportunities found in our sector and ways in which communities have leveraged them. We hope that our audience of collaboration leaders, school district officials, parents, community members, and partners can walk away with a sense of hope, motivation, and tangible ways to continue this work.
The conference will close with a keynote address from Ai-Jen Poo, a next-generation labor leader, award-winning organizer, best-selling author, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and head of the Caring Across Generations campaign to address the nation’s crumbling care infrastructure. Ai-Jen Poo will be joined by Vice President of Community Impact, Grace Araya, for a fireside chat to discuss the obstacles in the Early Childhood Education and Care system and provide examples of ways to overcome them.
To help us launch our conference, Nina D. Sánchez, a proud second-generation Chicagoan with roots in Pilsen and Central Mexico and co-director of Enrich Chicago, will give the opening keynote presentation. During this conversation, she will discuss the ways in which institutions and systemic oppression shows up in the Early Childhood Education and Care system. Nina will also provide ways for our audience members to tap into their creative minds. In addition, this year’s conference includes breakout sessions highlighting work across Illinois and a panel discussion with agencies from different states across the country that are also doing community-systems change work.