Human services leaders work in a disruptive operating environment and face many workforce challenges and systemic issues. In hopes of identifying and building solutions, particularly those grounded in partnering with community, Social Current and the American Public Human Services Association have joined efforts. Together, they will work to co-create a new leadership framework for human service leaders of both community-based organizations and public agencies.

During this session, facilitators will present the latest insight gained from research conducted with community members and senior leaders. This research is based around how we can work collaboratively across the human services ecosystem and flip to a new power-sharing paradigm. Innovative and impactful examples of addressing challenges facing today’s human services workforce will be key components of the workshop.

Human services leaders must align on a shared vision and guide others using new mental models and a new operating paradigm that engages leaders at all levels. They must also operationalize practices that confront implicit bias, center community and belonging, incorporate input from families to improve service delivery, and hire people with lived experience at all levels.

Learning Objectives


Trinka Landry-Bourne, DPA
American Public Human Services Association
Organizational Effectiveness Consultant Leadership Development

Julia Mueller
Community Engagement Specialist
American Public Human Services Association

A study reported by The Washington Post in January 2021 revealed that Black employees represent a strikingly small percentage (8%) of top executives and the professionals responsible to boost inclusion often struggle. Despite variations of individual success in overcoming racial disparities and divisive narratives, Black male nonprofit leaders often experience personal frustration and psychological fatigue due to unwarranted impediments in exercising their full leadership capacity, creative potential, and organizational impact (Pickett, 2020).

In response to this daunting reality, a group of nonprofit executives from around the country formed a safe, culturally responsive space for Black male leaders nearly 10 years ago. Utilizing a barbershop format where everyone is welcome, they will share individual narratives, collective perspectives, and unique recommendations with the goal to diversify the C-suite.

Research suggests that inclusive workplaces drive employee productivity, foster creativity, improve problem solving, and increase profitability. During this presentation, these social service executives will advance the conversation by emphasizing the organizational significance and business advantage of moving past diversification to authentic inclusion.

Learning Objectives


Julius Mullen, Ed.D
Chief Inclusion Officer
Children & Families First of Delaware

Romero Davis
Senior Program Manager for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Practice Excellence
Social Current

Raphael Holloway, MA
Gateway Center

Undraye P. Howard, Ph. D.
VP of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Engagement
Social Current

Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, Esq.
Director of Business and Government Strategies
National Youth Advocate Program

Claude A. Robinson
Founder & President
Onyx Strategic Partners, LLC.

Jonathan Palmer, MS
Executive Director
Hallie Q. Brown Community Center

George Winn, MA
Chief Strategy Officer
Judson Center

During this informal and intimate candid conversation, presenters will establish a circle of trust, so that all attendees feel comfortable to be authentic and transparent speaking about experiences leading or participating in their organizations’ EDI journeys.

This session will be guided by two community leaders who were sponsored by longtime Social Current corporate partner Aramark to participate in Social Current’s Advancing EDI for a More Perfect Union training, as well as the Aramark EDI Implementation grant opportunity, helping to lead EDI implementation efforts at their organizations: Jessica Moore from Dallas-based Buckner Retirement Services and Regina Anderson from Washington, D.C.-based Food Recovery Network.

These two bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in the EDI space and are enthusiastic to share their struggles, successes, and lessons learned while leading organizational and community change efforts. They’ll walk through their specific EDI-related implementation efforts, while also digging into the personal aspects of the journey.

But their experiences are meant to serve as a jumping off point, allowing plenty of time for group discussion, questions, and sharing. Join us for this engaging deep dive into what this work takes, while building connections across the Social Current network.

Learning Objectives


Jessica Moore
Manager of Program Administration
Buckner Retirement Services

Regina Anderson
Executive Director
Food Recovery Network
@FoodRecovery @ReginaDM

Come and play Getting By, the game that puts your brain into poverty. You will see how your own thinking and decision making respond to scarcity. After playing, you will learn the basics of brain science. You will understand what some take for granted (give no thought to) and how that differs for people and children coping with poverty. With so many things crowding the brain, people in poverty respond to certain kinds of communication and not others. In this workshop, you will learn how to listen and respond effectively, improving your work with low-income children and families.

Learning Objectives


Linda Riddell
Health Economy LLC

Chad Dull
Principal Consultant / CEO
Poverty Informed Practice LLC

What better way to engage an organization with accreditation principles and committee work than through characters, costumes, and adventure?

Let’s face it, some aspects of performance quality improvement (PQI), standard compliance, and data analysis may be a bit dry for some folks. However, by focusing on engagement, principles of adult learning, and fun, Community Services is making PQI memorable!

Building on Kouzes and Posner’s documented values of an effective leader,* Community Services uses characteristics of humility and authenticity to animate the vision of PQI and its role in accreditation. What started as a mock team of staff wearing t-shirts and lip-synching to songs from Rocky, has evolved into cape-wearing mock team superheroes who champion all aspects of accreditation throughout all levels of the organization.

PQI is woven throughout the entire organization of Community Services and one of the most effective strategies that we’ve found is using a committee structure that includes:

However, these are not your average committees. These committees have customized personas—and character cutouts—that exemplify each of their core purposes, which not only reduces barriers to learning, but maximizes engagement, relatability, commitment of data collection, and authentic actions based on analysis. 

Community Services uses the overarching theme of adventure and analogy of a quest—for quality. We can all appreciate that the path of excellence is anything but linear and the quest captures the multitude of starts and stops, entry points, assessments, innovation, and risk management of continuous quality improvement.

The Quality Quest data scores are skyrocketing at Community Services, with staff showing an increased understanding of PQI, increased interest in joining a committee, increased motivation to participate in data collection, and most importantly, having a greater understanding of how their work contributes to organizational excellence.

*The Leadership Challenge, Kouzes, James M., Posner, Barry, Z., 2017.

Learning Objectives


Aimee Fehr
Family Outreach Counsellor
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services

Kim Mapson
Manager of Community and Family Services
Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Community Services

As leaders, how do we fully equip and support our teams to create equitable pathways in partnership with our communities? Effective teamwork depends on staff feeling safe to speak up, even when their opinion is not shared or may be unpopular. Psychologically safe teams support candid feedback, identifying opportunities for learning and improvement, as well as approaches to treat errors as opportunities for growth, not punishment. This has real consequences for helping professionals. Psychologically safe professionals have:

This internal change intentionally creates a team environment that will provoke external change, leading to equitable solutions that shift power to bold, strategic and well-informed communities. Attendees can expect to learn how this practice has led to innovative solutions to shift power from agency to community from several leaders in a fireside chat setting.

Learning Objectives


Romero Davis
Senior Program Manager
Social Current

Dr. Michael Cull
Associate Professor in the Department of Health Management and Policy
University of Kentucky

Bill Conerly of Forbes correctly stated: “Strategic planning is dead.” The new kings are execution and flexibility. CEOs, senior leaders, and board members are struggling to move organizations from having a good plan to being able to rapidly execute while staying true to core purpose and mission. To be successful in today’s fast-paced world, an organization must be aligned in strategic action. In this workshop, participants will:

Following the workshop, participants will leave with tools to gather information, identify strategic focus areas, communicate those areas, and engage in an ongoing monitoring and refining process to create an effective Strategic Action Plan within their organization.

Learning Objectives


Mike Chavers
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch

Tyson Schumacher
Chief Information Officer
Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch

In today’s ever-changing political climate, what is the role and responsibility of the social sector? This workshop will discuss how organizations in the social sector, with varied missions, programs, and services can find alignment and become more united in addressing the political issues that affect us all. Further, as we are challenged by our tenuous political climate and continual shifts in our elected officials, we will discuss how our sector can create sustained momentum around advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice.

Learning Objectives


Undraye Howard
Vice President of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Social Current

Kim Peterson
Vice President of Change Management
Aviva Family and Children’s Services

Participants will gain a deep understanding of polyvagal theory and how it applies to restoring balance in the autonomic nervous system. Functions of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems will be discussed to support trauma and resilience practitioners in understanding what sensory experiences will be most supportive. In addition, participants will learn how to activate the social engagement system to help chronically stressed or trauma-exposed children regulate their nervous system. Most stressed and traumatized people focus immediately on negative inner states, which increases fear reactions. The underpinning of the polyvagal theory encourages the drawing of attention to positive, non-aversive inner states, helping to bring the autonomic nervous system into a less fearful state. Participants will gain both an understanding of the physiological principles of trauma and stress in addition to practical interventions to help.

Learning Objectives


Kathy Hart
Senior Trainer and Program Consultant
Starr Commonwealth