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Leadership Connections

News from the Academy of ZERO TO THREE Fellows
December 2022

Attention all Fellows: Academy Retreat Planning

Prior to the pandemic, Academy members suggested a retreat for Fellows to reconnect. The Academy Council has decided to hold a Fellows Retreat in the Washington, DC, area the week of October 16, 2023. Our retreat will coincide with the 2022-2024 Fellows Fall Retreat and held at the William F. Bolger Center in Potomac, Md. This gathering will be a time to Reconnect, Reflect, and Rejuvenate as well as serve as a transition meeting for new Academy Council members.

At this time, we are looking for volunteers to help plan this 2023 Academy Fellows Retreat. And we need Fellows to volunteer to serve on the Academy Council starting in 2023!

For now, email Mary Ellen Warren if you can help with retreat planning.

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    Policy, Advocacy, and Research Collaboration Award Presentations

    Thanks to all the Fellows who attended the Policy, Advocacy, and Research (PAR) Collaboration Award sessions held virtually on September 13 during the ZERO TO THREE LEARN Conference.

    A big shout out to Vibhay Raykar, 2014-16; Aimee Hilado, 2018-20; and Sheri Hill, 2007-09, for their excellent and informative 2021 PAR Collaboration Awarded projects, respectively:

    1. Developing and strengthening the IECMH workforce in underserved rural Australian areas (with Charley Zeanah, 1981-83)
    2. Promoting discussions around racial trauma, diversity, and equity among refugee and immigrant families with young children (with Ann Chu, 2018-20)
    3. Cultivating an infant mental health lens on connections to nature (with Lorraine Kubicek, 1987-89)

    These presentations illustrated how the PAR Collaboration Awards can serve as seeds to facilitate and grow collaborative relationships in exploring ideas and initiatives to enhance the wellbeing of young children and their families. Each of the projects has led to further steps such as continued expansion of training in infant and early childhood mental health in an underserved area of Australia, finding innovative ways to help refugee and immigrant families engage with their children around trauma and inclusion, and increasing knowledge and awareness of the importance of nature for mental health and development of young children. In addition, Aimee Hilado and Sheri Hill led intensives related to their projects during the ZTT LEARN Conference.

    A shout out also to Alice Carter for representing our team of PAR Award reviewers and providing words of wisdom for potential applicants for the 2023 PAR Collaboration. She recommended being clear, concise, and as specific as possible in the application and to have goals that are both feasible and focused.

    Margaret McLaren, 2005-07
    Coordinator, Academy Council’s PAR Committee

    2022 Giving Back, Going Forward Campaign

    The 2022 Giving Back Going Forward Campaign launched in September during the ZERO TO THREE Virtual Conference. Our goal is this year is $20,000 which will go to support ongoing work of the Academy to build the network of ZERO TO THREE Fellows and encourage collaboration amongst Fellows. Some of these efforts include:

    • Academy of ZERO TO THREE Fellows Community Platform
    • The Policy, Advocacy, and Research (PAR) Collaboration Award
    • Academy of ZERO TO THREE Fellows Retreat
    • Academy Learning Sessions
    • Fellows’ gatherings at conferences!
    The campaign closes December 31, 2022. 

    Our Deepest Gratitudes

    We send deep gratitude to Dr.  Barbara Stroud (2005-2007) for sharing your journey, thoughts, and wisdom during the Academy Conference Roundtable event. Dr. Stroud delivered the Practice Plenary, “Bridging Relationships: A Deeper Look at the Co-created Intervention Experience” to open this year’s ZERO TO THREE Learn Conference. Thank you for your voice, your passion, your spirit, and your dedication in spreading love, joy, and social justice to the field of infant and early childhood mental health!!

    Academy of ZERO TO THREE Fellows Community Platform

    We continue to grow our Community of Fellows on our virtual community platform. The platform allows you and other Fellows to stay in touch with the entire community platform through regular platform updates of news and information you share or shared by your fellow Fellows.

    Thank you to those who have claimed or created your accounts. If you are a member of ZERO TO THREE, you can claim your platform account by clicking on the button below and logging in with your ZERO TO THREE username and password.

    If you are not a ZERO TO THREE member and/or don’t have an account on the ZERO TO THREE website, you don’t need one. Send us an email from your preferred email address at [email protected] to let us know and one of our volunteers will get your account set up and an invitation sent to you!

    Academy Council Co-Chairs: 

    Mary Ellen Warren (2007)

    Therese Ahlers (2003)

    Fellow Highlights

    Crissie McMillian (2018-20)

    After a yearlong radical sabbatical in Mexico with her family, Crissie McMullan will be taking on the role of Director of Development at mRelief. This tech-based national nonprofit uses simple web and text tools to make it easier for people to receive SNAP benefits (formerly food stamps). Every year, about $13 billion in SNAP benefits go unclaimed, often because people who need them most get overwhelmed or confused by the process. When people use mRelief’s free web or text tools, they are more likely to succeed. Families especially benefit, as SNAP has been crucial for reducing child poverty. 

    Ms. McMullan’s job is to ensure that mRelief  has the financial resources they need to broaden their reach across the nation. The United States has a robust social safety net: unfortunately, it is riddled with human-shaped holes. Ms. McMullan’s job will be to build a broad base of foundation, government, and individual support for mRelief in order to make the system more efficient, just, and effective.

    Aimee Hilado (2018-20)

    Aimee Hilado HeadshotIn 2011, Aimee Hilado founded a mental health program at RefugeeOne, the largest refugee resettlement program in Chicago, to deliver culturally- and linguistically responsive mental healthcare and accompaniment supports to newly arrived refugees and asylum-seekers in her community. To support pregnant persons and families with very young children, the program added home visiting services using the Baby TALK Model in 2016 to address the developmental needs of young children while promoting mental health outcomes for the children and their caregivers. Dr. Hilado has also conducted research on the impact of the Baby TALK home visiting program over the years documenting social-emotional and language development gains for young children and reductions in parent stress and trauma symptoms for their caregivers (Hilado et al., 2020). This video showcases the incredible impact of Baby TALK home visiting with refugee families.

    ZERO TO THREE Highlights

    Spotlighting Inequities

    In partnership with Child Trends, our latest report, Using the State of Babies Yearbook to Illuminate the Social Determinants of Health for Infants and Toddlers, provides policymakers, practitioners and advocates with a robust picture of the level of economic and social resources available to the nation’s babies. While many young children are thriving, disparities in resources and outcomes raise significant concerns about the near-term development and long-term health of young children as they grow to adulthood.  

    Diversifying Stories

    We have joined forces with 26 leading national nonprofit organizations to create the Diverse Books for All Coalition. Together we are tackling a common challenge that has impeded children’s literacy for decades: the lack of high-quality, affordable books by and about diverse races and cultures. I’m proud that we are part of this important coalition with leadership from First Book and funding support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our efforts will help provide more diverse books for babies and toddlers nationwide!

    Recent Research


    Support the Academy of Fellows

    Your contribution will help us promote collaborations and partnerships, sustain relationships, support the fellowship program and advance the early childhood field.