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Annual Making Connections Conference

RIAIMH partners with various community and state agencies to offer an annual conference that builds on a specific topic of interest, presented by a nationally-known speaker. We use this opportunity to offer research-based information that serves to broaden our thinking and transform our practices. RIAIMH convenes a Conference Planning Committee (members are from the community, RIAIMH Board, and RIAIMH staff) to work together on the specifics of this event, including intended audience, IMH-related topic; and links to ongoing initiatives in the State.

3Ps of Protection, Promotion, and Preservation: Centering Anti-racism and Cultural Assets in Children’s Healthy Development

Tuesday, May 21, 2024



Conference Description: Race, place, and zip code should not determine one’s opportunity to thrive. This keynote will uncover how the early years are a critical time to ensure that children are provided with equitable opportunities to thrive and be successful in school and life. Attendees will consider how equity can be the bedrock of early childhood programs and systems and other adjacent systems through attention to racial equity and cultural wealth. Protecting children and families from harm and trauma, promoting their health, wealth, and access to educational excellence, and preserving their cultural identity, language, and heritage must be at the forefront of ensuring children thrive.

2024 Keynote Speaker:

Iheoma U. Iruka, PhD

More Information

Iheoma U. Iruka (pronounced EE-OMAH EE-ROO-KAH), PhDis an award-winning Research Professor in the Department of Public Policy and the Founding Director of the Equity Research Action Coalition at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC- Chapel Hill. She will begin as tenured Professor of Maternal Child Health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health in the Fall of 2024. Dr. Iruka is leading projects and initiatives focused on ensuring that minoritized children and children from low-income households thrive through the intersection of anti-bias, anti-racist, and culturally grounded research, program, and policy. Dr. Iruka has authored over 90 books and papers and has given over 300 talks addressing systemic inequities and advancing research and action on the well-being of children and families. She serves on numerous national and local boards and committees, including the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs, the National Science Foundation, and the Lancet Commission on Racism and Child Health. In addition to being on the National Advisory Committee for the U.S. Census Bureau and a Census Advisor for the National Urban League, Dr. Iruka is the recipient of the 2022 American Psychological Association Mid-Career Award for Outstanding Contributions to Benefit Children, Youth, and Families and the 2023 Association of University Centers on Disabilities Leadership for All award-winner. She was recently named a 2023 American Psychological Association (APA) Fellow. Most recently, she is the author of the book We Are the Change We Seek.

2023 Registration fee: $75 (members), $125 (non-members), $25 (student members), $40 (non-members students)  

CEU fee - select/purchase during registration: 4 NASW Continuing Education Units offered ($60- new rate of $15/hr), 4 CELP PD contact hours offered (free)

4 IECMH-Competency®  hours offered - noted on Attendance Certificate. 

Registration and Cancellation:

Pre-registration is required. Cancellation requests emailed to the event manager prior to 11:59 pm 24 hours before, will receive a full refund. No refunds for cancellation requests received on or after the day of, regardless of the cause for cancellation including failure to join meeting on the day of the training. If the training cannot be held due to circumstances beyond the hosts’ control (natural disaster, strike, fire, severe weather, illness of speaker, speaker cancellation, etc.) the seminar will be rescheduled, if possible, and the registration fee applied to that date. If rescheduling is not possible or registrant cannot attend the rescheduled date, reimbursement will be provided less any actual costs accrued.

Instructions for Zoom will be included in the confirmation email sent to all participants upon completion of registration.

For questions please contact Sheila Grant Orphanides, the RIAIMH Professional Development Coordinator, 

Continuing Education Credits:

Full attendance meets the qualifications for 4.0 hours of continuing education credit as required by the National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter-NASW units (including 2 Cross-Cultural Practice hours)  and the Center for Early Learning Professionals (CELP)-credit for Rhode Island's Early Childhood Workforce. 

Attendance also meets the requirements for 4.0 IMH-Competency aligned training hours. 

In order to receive CE Credits, participants must purchase CE units ($60) in addition to registration (CE unit price is NOT included in registration). Full attendance is required in order to receive CE units and no partial credit will be offered. Failure to meet these requirements will prohibit RIAIMH from issuing CE certificates and no refund will be provided.

RIAIMH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

RIAIMH is a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.

RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

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