News and Events

Announcing Our Presenters for Thriving Leaders Event (April 9, 2021)

POSTED ON March 17, 2021

by Anne Arias

This has been such a difficult year for so many of us, and “thriving” may be the last thing we feel capable of right now. This past week, for example, brought so much grief and anger back to the surface. After watching a video from the WA State Department of Health from last fall about the stages we are collectively going through due to the pandemic — and how that is affecting burnout in the workplace — I felt a sense of renewed energy for our upcoming event. Together, let’s restore ourselves in the face of burnout. Join us in: 

  • reconnecting with community; 
  • reflecting on your purpose in doing this work; 
  • recognizing your own adaptability, and offering space for others to do the same; and 
  • renewing your sense of hope. 

Register today and join us on April 9 as we strengthen our collective resilience at YDEKC’s virtual event, Thriving as a Leader in Changing Times. We are thrilled to announce our full list of presenters and session descriptions. Please note that there is a 30-minute break between each portion of the agenda, and we have added a bonus yoga session to ground ourselves in our bodies and well-being to close out our day together. 

OPENING PLENARY: Keynote & Community Building
(9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.) 

We will begin with an opening keynote by Fahren Johnson, followed by a Community Building activity in small groups. 

Photo of Fahren Johnson, keynote speaker of Thriving Leaders event on April 9, 2021. Fahren Johnson
Director of Strategic Initiatives, Expanding Learning

Keynote: The Power of Proximity Leadership
How do you lead with racial equity in alignment with your values during times of crisis?
Fahren will share her ground up perspective as a leader in how to apply pressure to the hemorrhage of racism, and why it is critical for youth development professionals to understand that your values determine how you anchor to move racial equity work into action and impact on behalf of young people.

(11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

Angela Griffin

Workshop A: The Essence of Leadership through Adversity
Even as the daughter of parents who fought to overcome racial inequities in the Deep South during the civil rights movement, I was still not prepared as an organizational leader to face the covert racism that is prevalent in the Pacific Northwest. I will share my journey through identity development, addressing internalized racial oppression, and becoming empowered to lead organizations and systems towards antiracist practices in their service to diverse communities. You will hear how these practices have greater necessity during a pandemic, social unrest, and political discord. I will open my toolkit to provide a variety of resources and action steps to help leaders, at every level of an organization, incorporate racial equity with social emotional learning. 

* OR *

Luis Ortega
Director & Founder

Storytellers for Change
Photo of Luis Ortega, smiling and wearing a business suit Photo of Elizabeth Whitford, smiling in front of some sunlit windows Elizabeth Whitford

School’s Out Washington

Workshop B: The Stories We Tell: Asset-Based Storytelling and Racial Equity
Join Luis and Elizabeth for a conversation about the importance of reflecting on our own stories throughout our individual and collective journeys to lead with racial equity. In this session we will discuss introspective storytelling, why and how antiracism is a journey and not a destination, and the importance of employing asset-based storytelling in our racial equity work. Participants will be invited to engage in an interactive story-sharing activity to reflect on their own journeys and identify meaningful questions to self-reflection. 

*BONUS* CLOSING SESSION: Chair Yoga for Youth Development Professionals
(1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.) 

We will close with a restorative yoga session. See the recent guest blog post from Holistic Life Foundation.

Photo of Steven Carson smiling in front of a lake that reflects many evergreen trees. Steven Carson
Mindfulness Instructor
Holistic Life Foundation

Closing: 30-minute Chair-Based Yoga for Youth Development Professionals
Our yoga classes are based on the researched-based Breath Curriculum created by the founders of the Holistic Life Foundation (HLF). The classes empower participants with tools and skills for peaceful conflict resolution, improved focus, and concentration, greater control, and awareness of thoughts and emotions, improved self-regulation, as well as stress reduction and relaxation. The classes are based on yoga, meditation, breathing, tai chi, centering, and other mindfulness techniques. Sessions start with a brief centering exercise, then yoga and tai chi exercises, followed by breathing, and ending with a meditation. This session is designed so that participants can engage in it from a chair. Check out this blog post to learn more about HLF and drop-in classes in March and April 2021 hosted by YDEKC and School’s Out Washington. 

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