ROC the Future Presents the
8th State of Our Children Address & Report Card Release

Equity & Education: The Next Horizon

Monday, November 16th — Thursday, November 19th, 2020

Each year, ROC the Future brings hundreds of partners together to learn the best ways to make systems work for kids. This year, we invite you to join us for our first-ever virtual State of Our Children Address! Become a part of the discussion and learn how we are making a difference in the lives of children in the city of Rochester.

Event Schedule

Monday, November 16th | 11am – 12pm

Distance Learning: Impact of the Digital Divide

Pandemics don’t create disparities. They expose them.” Oliver T. Brooks, President, National American Association.

The ability to access computers and the internet has become increasingly important as we navigate through the coronavirus pandemic. However, not everyone has access to this technology. The digital divide refers to the growing gap between the underprivileged members of society who do not have access to computers or the internet, and those with means who do. This impacts our children greatly who are most impacted by poverty and racism. So, how do we close the divide? Tune in to hear what the Rochester community is doing to address the divide, what more needs to happen and how students are being impacted by distance learning. You will hear from East High School student, Reganae Walters, who shares first-hand experience of what distance learning is like and the impact of the digital divide.

Simeon Banister, Rochester NY
Simeon Banister, Emcee
Rochester Area Community Foundation, Vice President, Community Programs
Stephanie Townsend, Rochester NY
Stephanie Townsend
ROC the Future Director of Research and Analytics
Glen Vanderwater, Roc the Future, Rochester NY
Glen Vanderwater
Rochester City School District Chief Technology Officer
Reganae Walters, Roc the Future, Rochester NY
Reganae Walters

East High School Student, Class of 2022, Step to College

Tuesday, November 17th | 11am – 12pm

Parents’ Perspective: A Guided Conversation with Local Parents

Parents are undoubtedly the secret sauce when it comes to educational success. In 2016, ROC the Future launched the Parent Engagement Collaborative Action Network (PECAN). This group is focused on bringing parents to the table to address systemic issues impacting children’s success. During this panel conversation, parents will share their perspective on the relevance of teacher representation, the impact of COVID-19 on education, and the benefits and challenges of at-home learning.

Tiana Stephens, Rochester NY
Tiana Stephens, Emcee
Greater Rochester Health Foundation Communications Officer
Kilolo Moyo-White, Rochester NY
Kilolo Moyo-White

ROC the Future Family & Community Engagement Specialist

Khadijah Muhammad, Rochester NY
Khadijah Muhammad
Rochester City School District Office of Parent Engagement Director
Maria Cruz, Rochester NY
Maria Cruz
PECAN Leader, Family Peer Advocate for The Mental Health Association of Rochester

Wednesday, November 18th | 2:30pm – 3:30pm

Racism and Education: Where Do We Go From Here?

Our nation is fighting a battle on two fronts: the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism. The impacts of these two crises on children and families can’t be ignored. There is no time like the present to make intentional change that will lead to measurable results. But what happens when you inherit a problem that has been in existence for 400 years. What is the first step? How can leaders and community members step in to undo structures that are inherently designed to privilege one group over another? New York Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones says, “In a country built on racial caste, we must confront the fact that schools are not broken. They are operating as designed.”

Evan Dawson, Rochester NY
Evan Dawson, Emcee

Host, WXXI Connections

Jackie Campbell, Rochester NY
Jackie Campbell

ROC the Future Alliance Director

Wade Norwood, Rochester NY
Wade Norwood
Common Ground Health Chief Executive Officer
Lesli Myers-Small, Rochester NY
Lesli Myers-Small
Rochester City School District Superintendent

Thursday, November 19th | 11am – 12pm

Educational Access: The Haves and the Have-Nots, keynote by Jennifer Blatz, CEO of StriveTogether

Jennifer Blatz is the president and CEO of StriveTogether, a national nonprofit working in nearly 70 communities across the United States to enable more than 12 million young people to succeed in school and life. We know that disparities exist in education but imagine if we found a way to change the trajectory of lives by working across education, housing, health care, justice – all of the systems that impact young people and their families. Tune in to hear what other StriveTogether partnerships are doing to help every child succeed in school and in life, cradle to career.

Jessica Lewis, Rochester NY
Jessica Lewis, Emcee
ROC the Future Communications Specialist
Jennifer Blatz, Rochester NY
Jennifer Blatz
CEO of StriveTogether
virtual conference, Roc the Future, Rochester NY

Become a sponsor today

Keynote Sponsor
Nalgene, event sponsor, Roc the Future, Rochester NY

Champion Sponsor

ESL Federal Credit Union, event sponsor, Roc the Future, Rochester NY
Greater Rochester Health Foundation, event sponsor, Roc the Future, Rochester NY
The Community Foundation, event sponsor, Roc the Future, Rochester NY
United Way, event sponsor, Roc the Future, Rochester NY
Change Maker
Childrens Institute logo
Media Sponsor
WXXI, event sponsor, Roc the Future, Rochester NY

ROC the Future at the Children’s Institute
274 N. Goodman Street, Suite D103
Rochester, NY 14607

Monday - Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM