Ninth Annual African American Children and Families Conference: Transforming Communities

The ninth annual African American Children and Families Conference will focus on "Transforming Communities for the Betterment of the Lives of African American Children and Families” during a pre-conference on Thursday, Feb. 27, and a full day of offerings on Friday, Feb. 28, at the University of Northern Iowa College of Education. 

Participants will spend the day learning, networking and meeting new colleagues while strengthening understanding of how action, attitudinal change, sharing and caring can better the lives of children and families.

Among the featured keynote speakers:

  • Robert L. Smith, Jr., executive director, Educational Opportunity Program and Special Community Services, University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education (pre-conference) 
  • Corey Roberto Lanair Holmes, Atlanta Police Department and head, Atlanta Love Center
  • Theodora Pinnock, M.D., developmental and behavioral pediatrician and assistant professor, Meharry Medical College

The pre-conference includes focused panel discussions and small group conversations in addition to the keynote speaker. Guest speakers, a youth track and a special community forum on behavioral health comprise the full conference day. 

Also joining the conversation are: Louis R. Hilton II, social justice advocate and educational consultant; Dr. Kingsley Botchway II, chief officer of human resources and equity, Waterloo Community School District; De'Carlos Anderson, assistant director, student success and retention, UNI; and Tiffany Flowers, Ph.D.,  Perimeter College, Georgia State University, among others. For a full schedule, go to 

The pre-conference will be held at the Maucker Union, followed by the full day conference at the Schindler Education Center. The conference is designed for educators, administrators, childcare providers, law enforcement, policymakers, social workers, health professionals, business leaders, employers, students and faculty. 

For costs and conference registration, visit the conference website or call Kelli McCarthy at 319-273-5141 or email Registration is free for UNI students and faculty as well as middle and high school students. For general information, contact Gloria Kirkland-Holmes, 319-273-2007,