Welcome to this year’s Early Childhood Legislative Briefing, which provided an important forum to:

• Connect with fellow early childhood leaders, advocates, agencies and law-makers. Together, we’ll explore pathways to close the opportunity gap and foster a strong, equitable future for Minnesota.

• Share early childhood policy priorities and legislative action moving forward this session. We know this is an important legislative session—with a budget surplus and strong bi-partisan commitment to advancing quality early childhood development, care and education.

• Engage in critical discussions around equity and policies focused on improving outcomes for our state’s young children and youth. With a new governor and leadership at the capitol, this year presents an exciting opportunity to address the importance of early childhood development and opportunities to improve successful outcomes.


  • Lynn Haglin, Northland Foundation
  • Denise Mayotte, The Sheltering Arms Foundation
  • Erin Bailey, Minnesota’s Children’s Cabinet
  • Laura LaCroix-Dalluhn, PN3 and Minnesota Coalition for Targeted Home Visiting
  • Gertrude Matemba Mutasa, Phyllis Wheatley Community Center
  • Bharti Wahi, Children’s Defense Fund of Minnesota
  • Christa Anders, Minnesota Early Childhood Workforce Team
  • Rinal Ray, People Serving People
  • Demetria Williams, Northside Achievement Zone
  • Erica Valiant, Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood Parent Council
  • Representative Rena Moran, Saint Paul
  • Senator Carla Nelson, Rochester
  • Acooa Ellis, Greater Twin Cities United Way

Event Materials:

2019 Early Childhood Briefing PPT

2019 Early Childhood Briefing_Agenda_FINAL


With the growing understanding of brain development in young children, Dr. Anne Gearity addressed the implications of toxic stress and trauma to increased ACES, and its impacts to healthy development.  The panel continued the dialogue to identify effective ways schools and early childhood programs can provide whole child supports to mitigate trauma response and help children to heal and self-regulate.  The importance of culture was also predominantly addressed, which provides a foundation for resiliency and acts as a protective factor in the face of historical and experiential trauma.


  • Dr. Anne Gearity
  • Anne Broderius, Hutchinson Public Schools
  • Jessica Bouta, Hutchinson Public Schools
  • Vanessa Goodthunder, Lower Sioux Early Head Start and Head Start
  • Eliza Tobon, Tri-Valley Opportunity Council, Inc.

Event Materials:

Anne Gearity PPT


As the urgency to build systems and policies to address the workforce crisis escalates, it is important that developments integrate cultural relevancy and an understanding of implicit bias – including teacher training needs, mental health implications and considerations of what children need to succeed and thrive.

Importance of a Culturally-Relevant Early Childhood Workforce, moderated by Dianne Haulcy, Think Small:

  • Takara Henegar, The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations
  • Stephanie Thomas, YWCA of Minneapolis
  • Sheila Williams Ridge, Shirley G. Moore Laboratory School, University of Minnesota

Award Recipients:

  • “Nancy” Award – Nancy Jost, West Central Initiative
  • Advocacy Award – Mina Thao, Parent Advocate
  • Legislative Award – Senator Justin Eichorn
  • Legislative Award – Senator Charles Wiger

Event Materials:

2018 Nancy Latimer Deck

2018_Nancy Latimer Event Awards_Handout

ECE Teacher Development Program – Flyer

Nancy Latimer Tribute_6-3-18

2018 Nancy Latimer Presenter Bios

Additional Resources/Tools on Implicit Bias:

Discourses of whiteness and blackness an ethnographic study of three young children learning to be white

Does early schooling narrow outcome gaps

Reflect on your history

Reifying and Resisting Racism in ECE

Social Class and Early Childhood Education

You are a racist- a critical


The 14th annual Children & Youth Issues Briefing is attended by nearly 1,000 advocates each year, and addresses the importance of early childhood development and youth education, highlighting pathways to close the opportunity gap and fostering a strong, equitable future for Minnesota.

With a critical election for Minnesota’s next governor in 2018, this year’s event will feature a gubernatorial candidate discussion to address the importance of young children and youth to the future of our state, and their vision to improve successful outcomes.

Gubernatorial candidate discussion, moderated by Lori Sturdevant, Star Tribune:

  • Former Party Chair and Representative Keith Downey
  • Representative Tina Liebling
  • Representative Erin Murphy

Additional program highlights:

  • Kelly Monson, Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Council
  • National economic and political landscape
  • Youth voices: education equity and policy
  • Cradle to career, building a strong educational foundation
  • Rural challenges and innovation

Event Materials:

2018 Children & Youth Issues Briefing Agenda

PowerPoint Presentation

Panelist and Presenter Bios

Grow Our Own Fact Sheet

Gubernatorial Candidate Bios

The TigerPath Initiative

2018 MinneMinds Policy Agenda

Child care’s quiet crisis: an update

2018 Children and Youth Issues Briefing Video

Video coverage of the 2018 program is available below.

Below the video, you will find a timeline of the event with the start times of different parts of the program, as they correspond to the agenda. Please use these as a guide to the parts of the program you are looking for.

6:55 Welcome

Denise Mayotte, The Sheltering Arms Foundation


14:45 Sondra Samuels, President and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone


19:17 National Political and Economic Landscape

Nan Madden, Minnesota Budget Project


39:14 Cradle to Career – Building a Strong Educational Foundation

Diana Anderson, Southwest Initiative Foundation

Patrick Walsh, Hutchinson High School


109:38 Youth Voices: Equity and Policy

Dr. Carlondrea Hines, Creative Arts Secondary School

and Lee Vang, Saint Paul Public Schools

Performance from students of St. Paul Creative Arts Secondary School


130:05 Youth Voices Panel Discussion

Moderated by Sondra Samuels.


1:45:29 Children and Youth Champion Award, Honoring Governor Mark Dayton

Nancy Jost, West Central Initiative


1:57:16 Gubernatorial Candidate Discussion

Lori Sturdevant, Star Tribune


3:03:08 Closing Remarks and Call to Action

Craig Warren, Greater Twin Cities United Way

2017 Nancy Latimer Convening for Children and Youth

Congratulations to this years Nancy Award and Legislative Champion honorees!

Todd Otis, Think Small

Carol Miller, Hennepin County

TraNecia Sylvester, Parent Advocate

Representative Dave Pinto, Minnesota House of Representatives

Representative Jenifer Loon, Minnesota House of Representatives

2017 Nancy Latimer Honorees

This year’s event focused on whole child, healthy development and how it directly links to positive outcomes and school readiness.  Topics addressed the importance of physical health, oral health, social-emotional and cognitive aspects of development.

Highlighted Speakers:  2017_NancyLatimer_Panelist Bios

  • Frank Forsberg, Greater Twin Cities United Way
  • Dr. Heather Winesett, M.D., St. Luke’s Pediatric Associates
  • Commissioner Dr. Edward Ehlinger, M.D., Minnesota Dept. of Health
  • Kamyala Howard, Independent Consultant 
  • Molly Greenman, The Family Partnership
  • Skip Ferris, Head Start – Virginia

Event Power Point Slides:  Link to PPT