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Strengthening Families and Communities Coalition-Atlanta host successful Professional Development Conference!

by on June 2, 2013

Attendees representing federal agencies, state and local government, grassroots non-profits, for-profits, faith based organizations and concerned Parents filled the SunTrust-Peachtree Atrium on Thursday, May 23, 2013 for the 3rd Annual SFCC Atlanta Professional Development Conference. This year’s PDC tackled the National trend and SFCC Atlanta’s overall priority focus issue of the ‘School to Prison Pipeline.’ The PDC featured Presenters such as: SFCC Atlanta Partners~ David Payne (Action Community Engagement Team), Pamela Perkins-Carn (Interfaith Children’s Movement), Diann Dawson (DDA & Associates),co-Convener (Alan J. Inman (Global Peace Foundation-USA), guest Presenters; Dennis Bega (U.S. Department of Education), Virginia O-Connell (Georgia Department of Education), and Thamani Akbar (Neighborly Needs, Inc.). The day began with a warm welcome from SFCC Atlanta Partners and Conveners later followed by an ice-breaker that highlighted ‘the culture of poverty.’ “We must first understand the culture of poverty before we can truly discuss this issue and approach it properly…”-Payne says. The agenda topics included The School to Prison Pipeline Experience whereby, Presenter, David Payne featured the typical encounters of children of color within the public school system and how they find themselves mis-understood, incarcerated and ultimately victimized. Alan J. Inman presented on both the importance and relevance of incorporating ‘morals & values’ within programs focused not only on the ‘School to Prison Pipeline’ but all programs. Guest speaker, Virginia O’Connell featured the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports discipline model and explained its relevance to changing the understanding of children being labeled criminals and therefore treated as such. Presenter, Akbar gave incredible insights as to the why’s of many grant proposal submissions being rejected. She stressed the importance of not depending on sought after grant money to sustain your organizations. In addition, the question of how to properly vet perspective grant writers was asked and she replied by encouraging all to seek out the verification of credentials through the Association of Professional Grant Writers. (http://www.agwa.us/). “A Grant Writer should never guarantee success upon the submission of a proposal to any awarding institution…in addition, the Professional should follow-up via phone, email etc. to check on the status of the submission” states Akbar. “A Grant Writer should not collect an exorbitant amount of money for services nor should they be embedded within several organizations that they write for organizational budgets, this is considered un-ethical…”-Akbar states. SCFF Atlanta is scheduled to continue activities featuring ‘Securing the Education Pipeline to prevent the school to prison pipeline in its upcoming monthly Coalition meeting slated for Thursday, June 20, 2013 from 12:30PM-3:00PM. All are encouraged to attend. In addition, we will continue our efforts around the five major committees: Youth Violence Prevention, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, School Drop-Out Prevention, Economic Development/Financial Literacy and Family Health.

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