Free Conference Package

Watch three free 2020 conference sessions including our two keynote sessions. 

  • Call to Action: Becoming an Abolitionist CCLS

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    As CCLS we are ethically bound to understand the history of racial oppression in America as well as interrogate whiteness and the connection to healthcare disparities. In so doing, we can take steps to disrupt and dismantle racist systems and strive to be abolitionist CCLS.

    Abolitionists [child life specialists] fight for children they will never meet or see because they are visionaries; (Love, 2020, pg 90). The current cultural climate makes it imperative to not only grow our knowledge and skills in racial consciousness but to be strategic and methodical in thought, communication, and action. By doing nothing we become part of the system that perpetuates racism. As CCLS we are ethically bound to understand the history of racial oppression in America as well as interrogate whiteness and the connection to healthcare disparities. In so doing, we can take steps to disrupt and dismantle racist systems and strive to be abolitionist CCLS. Child life specialists are in a unique position to affect the equity and quality of care that all children and families receive. By critically examining the ways patients and families of color experience healthcare environments through the strengths-based model of Community Cultural Wealth and the ethical lens of the 4 I's of Oppression (Ideological, Institutional, Interpersonal, and individual). CCLS can transform our practice to become co-conspirators, that amplify voices and promote agency of communities of color thus deeply affecting patient and family-centered care towards a more inclusive model.

    LOVE, B. E. T. T. I. N. A. (2020). We Want To Do More Than Survive: abolitionist teaching and the pursuit of educational freedom. S.l.: BEACON.

    Participants will learn about historical practices affecting patient care, medical decisions, and relationships between providers and recipients of health care.
    Participants will examine whiteness as a way to understand privilege and how one group benefits from the oppression of another.
    Participants will utilize the 17s of Oppression to consider ethical responsibility that deepens ones own knowledge of racial consciousness and implications for clinical practice.
    Participants will use theories of community cultural wealth to develop and consider a strengths-based model of child life practice.Participants learn what it means to be an abolitionist CCLS

    DOMAIN: Ethics
    2 PDUs

    Genevieve Lowry


    Genevieve Lowry began her career as a certified child life specialist working with children diagnosed with chronic and life threatening illness at a major New York Hospital. In 2007 she began a private practice working with families in the community facing a variety of challenges. These experiences and her online platform, The Convenient Classroom where is the co-creator of the Online Child Life Certification Test Preparation course as well as provides professional development to child life and creative arts therapists, led her to consider the work of the child life specialist beyond the hospital. Genevieve has worked at Bank Street College since 2004 as adjunct, Interim Director of the Child Life Program (2015-2016) and currently as Course Instructor and Fieldwork Advisor in the fully online Child Life Program. In these roles Genevieve demonstrates her belief that the philosophical tenets of child life can be applied to other settings and populations leading to innovative programming in communities and coursework at Bank Street. She is particularly interested in the intersection of social justice and health care as well as supporting child life students and professionals to be advocates for social justice. She writes, presents and provides consultation to a variety of organizations both locally and nationally and in 2013 she was recognized by Wheelock College as an alumni fulfilling the college’s mission and philosophy.

    Troy Pinkney-Ragsdale

    MA, CCLS

    Troy is a Certified Child Life Specialist for and has over 25 years of experience in the field of Child Life, including directing several child life programs in the tri-state area. She has served as the Director of the Child Life Masters Program at Bank Street College since 2004, and has taught the following courses: Child Development, Adolescent and Emerging Adulthood, Child Life in Health Care Settings, Children with Special Health Care Needs, and Child Life Administration.

    Troy has been an active member of the Association of Child Life Professionals and has held several leadership positions. Patient and Family Centered Care has been an integral part of her work with children, youth and their families for the last 30 years. She is committed to working with families. During her career, she has worked as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist, Special Educator and as a Certified Child Life Specialist. Throughout her career she remains committed to and advocating for the diverse and unique needs of all patients and their family, supporting their growth and development.

    Rechelle Porter


    Director of Child Life Services
    New York Presbyterian/Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital

    Rechelle D Porter, CCLS, LSW is the Director of Child Life Services and Creative Art Therapies at New York Presbyterian/ Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital. She has been a Child Life Specialist for over 25 years in both inpatient pediatric general medicine and oncology units, Ambulatory Surgery and outpatient Hematology and Oncology. Hospital Liaison for Family Advisory Council,  and Internship Coordinator Rechelle has served ACLP Nominating committee, Education, and Training Committee.  She has presented on cultural competencies for child life specialist at regional conferences.  Facilitator for Zero Harm and Empathy training for New York Presbyterian. 

    Deborah Vilas


    Deborah Vilas, MS, CCLS, LMSW is a faculty advisor and instructor in the Child Life Program at the Bank Street College of Education in New York City, where she teaches graduate students how to provide meaningful and therapeutic play experiences for hospitalized children. Deborah has worked with children as a child life specialist, preschool teacher and social worker. An author, consultant, blogger and international public speaker, Deborah has presented and taught in Australia, The Philippines, New Zealand, the Czech Republic, Mexico, the Palestinian Territories, and Japan. In 2016, she participated in a panel presentation about child life and technology at the United Nations. In 2014, Deborah represented her profession and her country as a keynote speaker at the first global summit on pediatric psychosocial care in hospitals, addressing delegates from 46 countries on the importance of play for sick and injured children. Her blog reaches followers in 89 countries.

  • 2020 Child Life Virtual Conference Keynote Presentation with Michelle Kim

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Identity, Power, and Privilege - The first step in understanding others is to truly know ourselves. In this keynote, you will have an opportunity to reflect on your own identities and how they have shaped your lived experiences and worldview

    Identity, Power, and Privilege

    The first step in understanding others is to truly know ourselves. In this keynote, you will have an opportunity to reflect on your own identities and how they have shaped your lived experiences and worldview. By turning our attention inward, we can reflect on the power we each hold to make a difference and commit to action. Join the session to continue your journey towards equity and inclusion. 

    Learning outcomes: 

    Understand the difference between social identity and personal identity
    Learn the relationship between privilege and marginalization
    Commit to one action you can take to advance equity and inclusion

    DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility/Ethics
    1.5 PDU

    Michelle Kim

    Michelle Kim (Pronouns: she/her) 
    Title: Co-Founder & CEO, Awaken 

    Michelle Kim is the Co-Founder and CEO of Awaken, a leading provider of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training programs that go beyond just “checking the box.” Michelle believes in creating compassionate space for uncomfortable conversations in order to build connections and inspire lasting change. Michelle has consulted hundreds of organizations on their diversity and inclusion strategy and education journey, working with top executives from Fortune 500 to tech giants to influence change. Michelle is a recognized thought leader and her work has appeared on world renowned platforms such as Forbes, The New York Times, and NPR, and she was named Medium’s Top Writer in Diversity. 

  • 2020 Child Life Virtual Conference Opening Session with Keynote Speaker James Burroughs

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join us as we kick-off our 2020 Child Life Virtual Conference live!

    Join us as we kick-off our 2020 Child Life  Virtual Conference live!

    DOMAIN: Professional Responsibility/Ethics
    1 PDU

    James Burroughs

    James Burroughs is the chief equity and inclusion officer for Children's Minnesota. This is a newly created position at Children's, and is designed to help the nation's 7th largest pediatric health system advance equity and inclusion in all parts of the organization. This includes delivering equitable, quality care for patients and their families, fostering a culture of inclusion in which all employees can be their full selves and ensuring that community members from all walks of life feel like valued partners. 

    James' key focus areas include patient quality initiatives, employee recruitment and retention strategies, and organizational culture. His work also focuses on increasing 

    :financial investment and spend with diverse businesses and supporting initiatives that address the social determinants of health for patients and families. 
    James has more than 25 years of experience in the areas of nonprofit management, equity, diversity, inclusion, as well as employment law. He has an extensive background in developing workplace equity, diversity and inclusion training; creating policies and procedures that promote hiring and retention of employees of color; and forging robust partnerships with communities of color and other diverse demographics. 
    Most recently, he served in the Office of Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, where he was the State of Minnesota's first chief inclusion officer. James began his career as an attorney, holding faculty roles at Hamline University's School of Law and the University of Minnesota's School of Law. He practiced law at the United States Office of the Federal Defender and Dorsey & Whitney LLP. He also has a background in education, holding leadership roles at Summit Academy as the chief operating officer and general counsel, as well as Minneapolis Public Schools as the executive director for the Office of Equity and Inclusion.