Learning to Listen 2021

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Returning for a sixth season of engaging dialogue, BTC’s Learning to Listen: Conversations for Change featured luminaries across the family-facing fields who are exploring current and emerging issues facing children and families today. Each conversation was facilitated by BTC Executive Director Dr. Joshua Sparrow.

Each free webinar was 1-hour long with an interactive Q&A session. Live Spanish language translation was offered at all conversations


Webinar 1:
What the Eyes Don’t See: Listening to Children and Families to Uncover Environmental Injustice

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha retraced what she heard and saw as she listened to children and families that led her to uncover the lead poisoning epidemic disproportionately affecting the Black and Brown communities of Flint, Michigan. She also discussed how she partnered with families in Flint to build a national movement for environmental justice.

Mona Hanna-Attisha headshot

Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a pediatrician, scientist, activist, and author. Her research on blood lead levels in Flint, Michigan’s children sparked a national environmental and racial justice movement. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is founder and director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative and model public health program in Flint. She was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2016 and recognized as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. She has testified four times before the United States Congress and is a recipient of the Freedom of Expression Courage Award by PEN America. Most recently, she received the 2020 CDC Foundation’s Fries Prize for Improving Health. A frequent contributor to national media outlets, she is the founding donor of the Flint Child Health and Development Fund, and author of the widely acclaimed and bestselling book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.


Webinar 2:
How to Call People In (Instead of Calling Them Out)

Professor Loretta J. Ross shared stances, skills, and strategies for listening to those with whom we disagree. She also discussed how we can call in those whose implicit or explicit biases limit what they hear into productive conversations and new understandings.

Loretta Ross headshotProfessor in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College, Loretta J. Ross teaches courses on white supremacy, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture. Professor Ross co-created the theory of reproductive justice in 1994 and has dedicated much of her career to health and reproductive justice for women of color. She has served as Executive Director of the D.C. Rape Crisis Center, National Program Director of the National Black Women’s Health Project, National Coordinator of the Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, and National Co-Director of the March for Women’s Lives (Washington D.C, April 25, 2004). A self-described radical Black feminist, Professor Ross is also an activist and public intellectual, and has co-authored three books on reproductive justice: Undivided Rights: Women of Color Organize for Reproductive Justice (2004); Reproductive Justice: An Introduction (2017); and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique (2017). Her newest book, Calling In the Calling Out Culture, is forthcoming in 2022.

Watch the recording


Webinar 3:
Indigenous Wisdom for Listening to Children and Families

Dr. Hinemoa Elder, MNZM, shared some of her reflections as a Māori child and adolescent psychiatrist, with the aim of broadening our focus in order to foster and maintain well-being for families.

Hinemoa Elder headshot

Dr. Hinemoa Elder, MNZM, is of Te Aupouri, Ngāti Kurī, Te Rarawa, and Ngāpuhi nui tonu descent. She is an advocate for Te Reo Māori — the Māori language and the cultural knowledge the language embodies. A child and adolescent psychiatrist, Dr. Elder works clinically in community, inpatient, and forensic settings, and has conducted research grounded in Māori methodology and ways of knowing and being on traumatic brain injury in young people, and dementia from a Māori perspective. A Fellow of the Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, Dr. Elder received the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2019 for services to Māori and Psychiatry. She is the Chair of the Indigenous Working Group of the International Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists and Allied Professionals (IACAPAP) and is on the working group for child and adolescent psychiatry of the World Psychiatric Association. Before beginning her medical career, Dr. Elder hosted a a live daily children’s television program in Aotearoa. In 2021, her best-selling book, Aroha: Māori wisdom for a contented life lived in harmony with our planet, became listed on the Oprah Winfrey Book Club.

Watch the recording