Rise & Shine Graduation 2023

The Rise & Shine Program graduated three parents on June 20th, 2023. You can view the recording here. If you’re interested in being apart of the cohort for Rise & Shine 2024, please email Teresa Bachiller at teresa@risemagazine.org. To learn more about Rise & Shine, click here.

Congratulations, Rise & Shine Graduates!

Join us in celebrating the 2023 Rise & Shine Parent Leadership Program graduates: 

  • Vanessa Fortunato
  • Monique T.
  • Shakira Kennedy

During the program, graduates complete:

  • a writing workshop series in which they develop a publication-quality story and creative writing pieces, including poetry;
  • a public speaking workshop series, in which they build skills and strategies for engaging mindfully, using their voice and body, maintaining calm and focus and connecting with their audience, self and message;
  • community-building and reflection sessions using restorative justice circlekeeping practices;
  • a community-based mini-project;
  • 10 hours of interactive learning via “shadowing” and participating in advocacy and organizing opportunities.

About Rise & Shine

The 2023 Rise & Shine Parent Leadership Program ran from February through June, meeting both online and in person. The program supported NYC parents impacted by ACS with strengthening their skills, knowledge and networks to be leaders in their communities. 

Through the 18-week program, parents:

  • Built a strong foundation for community leadership;
  • Strengthened their writing and public speaking skills; 
  • Connected with Rise staff, parent leaders and community organizers and participated in additional interactive learning, advocacy and organizing opportunities;
  • Reflected on experiences together and built a peer-to-peer network;
  • Engaged with expert speakers and community members on a variety of topics, including child welfare history and law, parents’ legal rights, community organizing, legislative advocacy, systemic oppression, podmapping, trauma, toxic stress and self- and community care. 

>> Are you a parent impacted by ACS? Complete our Get Involved Form to receive information about Rise & Shine 2024. 

>> Interested in learning more about Rise & Shine? Read our 2022 FAQ

Rise & Shine Presenters and Facilitators

Rise extends deep gratitude to all of the Rise & Shine 2023 presenters and facilitators. Thank you for providing engaging and interactive knowledge-building workshops for the Rise & Shine program!  

Presentations by Rise Partners

History of the NYC Child Welfare System

  • Michael Arsham, Executive Director, Office of Advocacy, ACS
  • Sabra Jackson, Parent Engagement Specialist, ACS

Introduction to Advocacy

  • Sabra Jackson, Parent Engagement Specialist, ACS
  • Leatha Jennings, Parent Advocate, Forestdale, Inc.
  • Maya Marshall, Parent Advocate, Rising Ground
  • Rachel Williams, Parent Advocate, Graham Windham
  • Elliot Williams,  Parent Advocate, Center for Family Representation and Rise Board member
  • Jeanette Vega, Executive Director, Rise

Toxic Stress & Systemic Oppression

  • Naashia B, Parent Organizer, Rise
  • Imani Worthy, Family Advocate, Center for Family Representation
  • Shamara K, Organizer, Voices of Women

Know Your Rights: Early Legal Defense

  • Jean Padilla, Early Defense Parent Advocate, Bronx Defenders
  • Michael White, Jr., Staff/Early Defense Attorney, Family Defense Practice, Bronx Defenders 

Know Your Rights: NY Statewide Central Register

  • Christine Gottlieb, Co-Director, NYU School of Law Family Defense Clinic

Legislative Advocacy

  • Nia Adam, Trainer, The Advocacy Institute
  • David Ng, Engagement Manager, The Advocacy Institute

Movement for Family Power Exists to Fight the Foster System’s Policing and Punishment of Families

  • Erin Miles Cloud, Co-Director/Co-Founder, Movement for Family Power

Moving from Trauma to Power

  • Dr. Tricia Stephens, Professor, Silberman School of Social Work 

Rise Presenters

The following Rise staff members provided workshops for Rise & Shine on abolition, community organizing, parent leadership, systemic oppression and toxic stress:

  • Melissa Augustin, Rise Contributor
  • Naashia B, Parent Organizer
  • Cassandra Gonzalez, Program Support Manager
  • Mary Holiman, Communications & Organizing Director
  • Shakira Paige, Peer Trainer
  • Zoraida Ramirez, Peer Trainer
  • Yvette Sequina, Rise & Shine Contributor
  • Jeanette Vega, Executive Director
  • Halimah Washington, Project Manager
  • Robbyne Wiley, Senior Parent Leader

Rise & Shine Program Staff

  • Teresa Bachiller, Rise & Shine Director
  • Robbyne Wiley, Senior Parent Leader
  • Yvette Sequina, Rise & Shine Contributor
  • Keyna Franklin, Writing & Public Speaking Coordinator
  • Virginia Vitzthum, Rise & Shine Editor
  • Ashanti Bryant, Communications & Operations Director
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