Learning to Listen Spring 2021

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Learning to Listen is made possible thanks to the generosity of our community – thank you for your support.

Returning for a third season of engaging dialogue, BTC’s Learning to Listen: Conversations for Change series 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 webinar was 1-hour long with an interactive Q&A session. Live Spanish language translation was offered at all conversations.


Wednesday, March 17, 3 PM ET / 12 PM PT
Disrupting Implicit Bias in Early Childhood Programs

This conversation provided an overview of implicit bias in early childhood environments and its impact on interactions and relationship building. Participants learned strategies to reduce implicit bias and examined stressful situations in the early childhood environment that are most likely to be influenced by implicit bias. “White Spaces” were discussed as areas where implicit bias lives and is expressed.

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Dr. Rosemarie Allen is a national expert on implicit bias and culturally responsive practices, speaking at conferences across the country. She is the Equity Expert for 9News KUSA in Denver, Colorado, with a weekly segment on racial equity at all levels of society. Dr. Allen is a respected keynote speaker and has the distinct honor of being appointed as a “Global Leader” connecting with world leaders in early childhood across the globe. Currently, Dr. Allen is the President and CEO of the Center for Equity & Excellence and an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She earned her B.A. from California State University, Long Beach, M.Ed. from Lesley University, and Doctorate in Equity and Leadership in Education at the University of Colorado, Denver. She has also earned Post-Doctoral Certificates on Racial Equity from the University of Pennsylvania and the National Conference of Diversity and Equity.


Wednesday, April 28, 3 PM ET / 12 PM PT
Listening to Transgender Children, Transforming Ourselves

Debi Jackson describes herself as a military “brat” from Alabama, raised in an evangelical conservative family. She discussed how she came to understand that her transgender daughter was a messenger who came to teach her to listen and to launch her on her life’s mission: to help us to listen to children’s messages that are hard to hear, that may call into question everything we were brought up to believe.

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Debi Jackson is a nationally-known advocate for transgender rights. She is the mother of a transgender child and frequently travels to speak about trans kids. She was recently awarded the 2016 Role Model Award by the National Education Association’s GLBT Caucus. Through her advocacy, she works with esteemed organizations such as PFLAG, Human Rights Campaign, Gender Odyssey, and The Trevor Project. Her involvement with these organizations, as well as her personal connection to several thousand transgender adults and families with transgender children, has enhanced her knowledge and understanding of trans-inclusivity needs and solutions.



Wednesday, May 12, 3 PM ET / 12 PM PT
Uniting Worldviews to Advance Relationships in Indigenous Communities

This presentation examined how the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) has used the intersection between the linear worldview of Western culture, helping, and research, and the relational worldview of Indigenous peoples and organizations to advance the interests of Indigenous children and families. NICWA’s success as a community development, training, and advocacy organization has been built on its culturally-based approach. The speaker shared the story of this process as an example of decolonizing relationships between mainstream service providers and researchers and Indigenous communities.

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Terry (Ha-ne-ga-noh) Cross, MSW, an enrolled member of the Seneca Nation, received his Master’s Degree in Social Work from Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. He is the founding executive director of NICWA, now serving as a senior advisor. He is the author of Positive Indian Parenting and co-authored Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care, published by Georgetown University. He has 47 years of experience in child welfare, including 10 years of direct practice.



Thank you to our sponsor


To view recordings of the Learning to Listen series, visit our YouTube channel.

Questions? Contact Ashley Gaddis.


Support from our community of donors makes Learning to Listen possible!
Every gift of any size helps BTC offer free and accessible programming throughout the entire year!

In 2020 alone, more than 50,000 people benefited from our public programming and recordings. Give today and help us help others! Sponsorship opportunities are also available for Learning to Listen. Contact Michael Accardi today to learn more!