Arts Education Social Justice/Advocacy Social Services

Changing the Odds conference will return in 2021

Dallas’ Momentous Institute will once again host its annual conference, Changing the Odds. The two-day conference is geared toward educators, mental health professionals, nonprofit professionals and others dedicated to changing the odds for children. This important annual conference, now in its 9th year, typically garners more than 1,200 attendees but was canceled last year due to the pandemic. The conference will return in October (28-29) of this year in a virtual format.

This year speakers and guests will explore how social emotional learning, racial equity and the arts help schools and communities flourish. The lineup of internationally recognized keynote speakers includes:

Cheryl Strayed, author of the New York Times best-selling memoir “Wild,” which subsequently became an Oscar-nominated film adaptation starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern.

Jon Batiste, a renowned musician, educator and television personality who balances many roles, including bandleader with the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and artistic director at large of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. 

Dena Simmons, Ed.D., founder of LiberatED, a collective focused on developing school-based resources at the intersection of social and emotional learning (SEL), racial justice and healing. She is former Assistant Director of Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and the author of the forthcoming book, “White Rules for Black People.”

Dr. Gail Christopher, known for her pioneering work as leader of the Healing Initiative and Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation efforts. She is the former senior advisor and vice president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Christina Bethell, Ph.D., MBA, MPH, is a professor at Johns Hopkins University, where she promotes a new “Science of Thriving” to promote the social, emotional and relational roots of well-being.

Ingrid Fetell Lee, author of “Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness” and founder of The Aesthetics of Joy.

Tickets are now available here for $80. Ticket prices will increase to $90 on Sept. 15. publishes every week.
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Barbara Clark Galupi