Press Release

Social Current’s SPARK 2022 will Showcase Social Sector Insight and Expertise on How to Create Greater Impact So All People Can Thrive

Social Current logo Social Current
July 18, 2022

Social Current announced the lineup for their upcoming annual conference, taking place Sep. 13-14 at the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, 401 West Pratt Street in Baltimore, Maryland. SPARK 2022 will be a two-day in-person learning experience that will showcase insight and expertise from across the social sector on achieving greater impact so all people can thrive. Registration is now open (early bird registration rates available through Aug. 15) and can be accessed here.

“Fueled by a commitment to advance equity and improve the well-being of all people, we hope this conference will spark and elevate important conversations around some of today’s most vexing challenges,” commented Jody Levison-Johnson, president and CEO of Social Current. “We will be exploring topics that are critical for organizational excellence and social sector impact, including brain science; equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI); organizational and service delivery innovations; and workforce resilience and leadership. We invite social sector leaders from across the nation to join us for inspiration and to access practical tools for implementing innovative practice, policy, and research.”

SPARK 2022 will open Tuesday, Sep. 13 with a keynote address from Michele Borba, an internationally renowned educator, author and parenting child expert whose inspiring TEDx talk on empathy resonated with audiences worldwide. Her keynote will focus on how to use the “Empathy Advantage” to build valuable social capital with organizations and with clients, colleagues, and donors.

The closing keynote on Wednesday, Sept. 14 will feature Heather R. Younger, the founder and CEO of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement and consulting firm. Her talk will focus on how to build a culture of belonging, drawing on her personal experiences as the only child of an interfaith and interracial marriage. A diversity, equity, and inclusion strategist, she is a regular contributor to Forbes and Fast Company and is the bestselling author of The Art of Caring Leadership.

Key sessions over the two-day conference will include:

  • “Translating Neurobehavioral Research to Practice to Improve Trauma-Informed Care for Children,” featuring Patrick Tyler, Ph.D., LIMHP, LPC, senior director of the Child and Family Translational Research Center for Boys Town and Karina Blair, Ph.D., research scientist, with Boys Town National Research Hospital.
  • “Leaning into the Equity Journey for a Better Sector and Community,” featuring Undraye Howard, vice president of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion for Social Current; Marlena Torres, COO for Children’s Home Society of Washington; and Angela Bell, director of program operations for The Up Center.
  • “Crisis to Connection: An Anti-Racist, Trauma-Informed Approach to Improving Life Outcomes for Black Boys,” featuring Daicia Price, clinical assistant professor of social work for the University of Michigan; Kelvin Brown, program manager of The Children’s Center; and Aubrey Gilliland, project coordinator for The Children’s Center.
  • “The Path to Innovation in Child Welfare,” featuring Sarah Norris, Ed.D., chief program officer for Crossnore Communities for Children.
  • “Integrating Trauma-Responsive Practices and Equity to Support Staff Wellness and Resilience,” featuring Kesha Carter, chief diversity officer for CCSI and Elizabeth Meeker, senior director of practice transformation for CCSI.
  • “Transforming all Spaces into Safe Spaces: Meeting the Urgent Need to Protect our Transgender Youth,” featuring Jenny Sloan, LMSW, CTRT, CTRP-C, clinical supervisor for Starr Commonwealth and Michael Rosewood, LLMSW, CTRP-C, behavioral health clinician for Starr Commonwealth.
  • “Saving the Canary in the Coal Mine: An Organizational Approach to Workforce Retention,” featuring Gwen Koenig, chief growth officer for SigBee.
  • “How Politics is Shaping the Future of the Social Sector,” featuring Undraye Howard, vice president of equity, diversity and inclusion for Social Current and Kim Peterson, vice president of change management for Aviva Family and Children’s Services.
  • “The Necessity of Psychological Safety: A Roadmap to Shift Power to Community,” featuring Romero Davis, senior program manager of Social Current and Michael Cull, Ph.D., MSN, associate professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the University of Kentucky.

Pre-conference sessions will also take place Monday, Sept. 12 and post-conference sessions will take place Thursday, Sept. 15. For a full schedule of pre- and post-conference sessions check here.

Sponsorship and exhibitor packages for SPARK 2022 are available. Through Social Current’s network, sponsors have the opportunity to reach more than 12,000 human services professionals representing more than 1,800 organizations that serve nearly 70 million individuals. For more information on sponsorship opportunities check here.

Social Current logo

About Social Current

Social Current is the premier partner and solutions provider to a diverse network of human and social service organizations. We offer a range of innovative solutions through COA Accreditation, consultation, impact partnerships, knowledge curation and dissemination, learning collaboratives, networking, public policy advocacy and mobilization, and trainings.