Supporting Children and Families to Thrive

Researchers and Practitioners Discuss New Findings with GTY and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Join researchers and practitioners to dive into new reports commissioned by RWJF Healthy Children and Families. We’ll learn how these findings resonate with the experiences of our practitioner/advocate panel, elevate implications for philanthropy and identify steps toward advancing policies that support families and children to thrive.

Past Event


December 2, 2021


3-4:30p ET / noon-1:30p PT



Together we’ll discuss the following questions:

  • What are the experiences of parents and caregivers today as they raise the next generation of children?
  • What are the barriers to making progress on policies that help families and children to thrive?
  • How can children’s well-being top the policy agenda?

Using these new reports:

Webinar Recording




Cherie Craft, M.Ed

Founder/CEO/Executive Director, Smart from the Start

Cherie Craft, M.Ed, is an expert in early childhood education, community organizing, cultural competence and mental health. She has addressed audiences both nationally and internationally on addressing the social determinants of health and advancing the causes of equity and equality. Ms. Craft served five years on the Boston Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Board, two terms as a member of the National Expert Panel on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare, and for the past 22 years, has been senior faculty with the International Institute for Family Centered Care. In 2007, Ms. Craft founded Smart from the Start, a comprehensive, community-based child and family service organization.

Jamie Colvard, MPP

Director of State Policy, ZERO TO THREE

Jamie Colvard (she/her), MPP, is the Director of State Policy at ZERO TO THREE where she leads the Policy Center’s efforts to support states in establishing coordinated, comprehensive systems and policies to meet the needs of infants, toddlers and their families. In this role, she oversees and contributes to state technical assistance (TA) projects, research and analysis, and the development of resources and tools to support state advocates and policymakers. Current projects include Think BabiesBuilding Strong Foundations for Families, and Increasing Equitable Access to Early Head Start and Head Start. Jamie is located in Portland, Oregon.

Dawn Edwards

Director of Programs, Lotus Bloom

Dawn Edwards is the Director of Programs at Lotus Bloom, where she oversees the programs department, contributes to curriculum development, evaluation, program design and implementation, and overall operations. In addition to supporting the Oakland Family Resource Center Network.

Dawn’s Community Leadership recently has been serving the LGBTQ community as the VP of the Board of Directors for the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center, and being a graduate of the Rockwood’s Leaders in Early Care, Learning and Health Fellowship.

Nat Kendall-Taylor, PhD

Chief Executive Officer, FrameWorks Institute

Nat Kendall-Taylor, PhD, leads a multi-disciplinary team at FrameWorks Institute to conduct research on public understanding and framing of social issues and support nonprofit organizations to implement findings. A psychological anthropologist, Nat publishes widely on communications research in the popular and professional press and lectures frequently in the United States and abroad. He is a senior fellow at the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, a visiting professor at the Child Study Center at Yale School of Medicine, and a fellow at the British-American Project.

Michael Perry

Partner, PerryUndem

Before co-founding PerryUndem in 2013, Mike was a partner for 16 years at the national polling firm Lake Research Partners. Through public opinion research, Mike seeks to bring the voice of those most affected by today’s issues into the policymaking process. He works mainly with non-profit organizations and foundations and has briefed members of Congress, White House officials, state elected officials, journalists, activists, and others on his findings. He works on a wide variety of social issues, but specializes in health care research.

Presented by

Grantmakers for Thriving Youth