Opening Keynote Address
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NAEYC Presents Opening Keynote
Speaker: Dr. Gail C. Christopher
Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE); Founder and President Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature; Former Senior Advisor and Vice President, W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Board Chair, Trust for America’s Health (TFAH).
Award-winning social change agent, Dr. Gail C. Christopher came to us with a compelling session titled, Overcoming the belief in a hierarchy of human value: What early childhood educators and parents can do. She explored how change is created at individual, community, organizational, and systems levels.
Dr. Christopher challenged us to "move beyond our intimate circles and extend compassion to one another." She also proclaimed that we have to "jettison the belief in a hierarchy of human value."
Dr. Gail Christopher is an expert in the social determinants of health, well-being and in related public policies.
She is known for her pioneering work to infuse holistic health and diversity concepts into public sector programs and policy discourse. Dr. Christopher is the President & Founder of the Ntianu Center for Healing and Nature and she recently retired from her role as Senior Advisor and Vice President at the W.K Kellogg Foundation, where she was the driving force behind the America Healing initiative and the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation effort.
Dr. Christopher also served as Kellogg's Vice President for Program Strategy and worked on place-based programming in New orleans and New Mexico.
In 2015 she received the Terrance Keenan Award from Grantmakers in Health. She chairs the Board of the Trust for America's Health.
Following this year's Opening Keynote Presentation, attendees left inspired, motivated, and ready to address their responsibilities to promote equity and diversity in early childhood education.