How Supporting Parents Can Prevent Violence

Positive parent relationships and supportive family environments are protective factors against youth violence and child maltreatment. This meeting will focus on the connection between supporting parents and families and making our city safer. Action-oriented small group discussions will follow a keynote presentation and panel discussion focused on parent supports and enrichment.

Join SCY and partners across Chicago to explore the role you and your organization can play in supporting parents, caregivers, and families through asset-based solutions to promote the health and well-being of all Chicago families. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Registration begins at 1:00 pm, training starts promptly at 1:30 pm

Ann & Robert H. Lurie
Children's Hospital of Chicago
225 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
11th floor Conference Center
Please check-in at 2nd floor registration table near concierge desk

In-person registration is available onsite

Please share the event flyer with your partners and networks


Diana Rauner, President
Ounce of Prevention Fund

Diana Mendley Rauner is president of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, a public–private partnership serving at-risk children and their families from before birth to age 5. Prior to joining the Ounce in 2007, Diana was a senior researcher at Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago and an associate at private equity firms in San Francisco and Chicago. Diana holds a PhD in developmental psychology from the University of Chicago, an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BA from Yale University. Married to Governor Bruce Rauner, Diana serves as the First Lady of Illinois. Diana and Bruce are the proud parents of six children and one son-in-law.

Organization Description: Founded by Irving Harris in 1982, the Ounce of Prevention Fund believes in starting early to unlock the power of human potential. The Ounce advocates for programs and policies that benefit young children and families, provides training to early childhood professionals in Illinois, and engages in rigorous research and evaluation projects that contribute to best practices throughout the early childhood field. The leading provider of professional development and training for home visitors in the state, the Ounce works with community-based partners throughout Illinois to offers voluntary home-visiting services to nearly 1,900 families. Educare, its birth-to-5 school on Chicago’s South Side, has become a national model for narrowing the academic achievement gap for low-income children. In partnership with the Buffett Early Childhood Fund and other national philanthropic organizations, the Ounce helped establish another 21 Educare schools across the country and launched the First Five Years Fund, a federally-focused advocacy and communications effort.


Rosazlia Grillier, Co-Chair of POWER-PAC
Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI)  

Rosazlia Grillier, is the mother of two daughters, both currently in college, a longtime activist in her Southside Englewood community, and Co-Chair of POWER-PAC (Parents Organized to Win, Educate and Renew – Policy Action Council), a parent-led cross cultural organization of low-income parents based in Chicago which is supported by Community Organizing and Family Issues (COFI). POWER-PAC’s mission is to build a strong voice for low-income, immigrant and working families by uniting parents and grandparents across race and community around the issues of importance to families.

Ms. Grillier is also co-chair of POWER-PAC’s Stepping Out of Poverty Campaign, which seeks to increase economic stability for low-income families and a leader in POWER-PAC’s Early Learning Campaign. As a COFI Parent Peer Trainer, she has traveled the country, providing trainings in COFI’s leadership development and organizing model and inspiration to hundreds of other low-income parent leaders.  In 2011, Ms. Grillier was awarded Allstate’s Give Back Day Award, a national recognition honoring community volunteers. She currently serves on COFI’s Board of Trustees. 

Organization Description: COFI’s mission is to strengthen the power and voice of low-income and working families at all levels of civic life—from local institutions and communities to local, state, and federal policy arenas. COFI has trained and organized thousands of parents in some of the toughest neighborhoods anywhere. These leaders, primarily mothers and grandmothers, are winning improvements in their schools and communities, creating their own organizations and programs, and changing policies on critical issues that affect families. The work is taking root around the country, attracting national attention to parent-led innovative policy solutions. COFI supports partner organizations to learn and put into action the key organizing steps of the COFI Way.

Nia J. Heard-Garris, MD, MSc, Primary Care Pediatrician & Researcher
Smith Child Health Research, Outreach and Advocacy Center,
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Dr. Nia Heard-Garris is a pediatrician and an instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; and also in the Division of Academic General Pediatrics and Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach, and Advocacy Center at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. She trained at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, DC for her pediatric residency. She received her doctor of medicine (MD) from Howard University College of Medicine and obtained her bachelor of science in biology at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Heard-Garris is currently working on the relationship between vicarious racism and child health.

Organization Description: Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago provides superior pediatric care in a setting that offers the latest benefits and innovations in medical technology, research and family-friendly design. As the largest pediatric provider in the region with a 130-year legacy of excellence, kids and their families are at the center of all the work done here. The Mary Ann & J. Milburn Smith Child Health Research, Outreach and Advocacy Center at Lurie Children’s addresses important clinical and public health problems of children through state-of-the-art interdisciplinary methods and collaborations. Smith Child Health engages in clinical, community and population-based research to advance knowledge about the natural history, biological, psychological, social and environmental causes of common and important child health problems. 

Sister Catherine M. Ryan, Executive Director
Maryville Academy

Maryville’s Executive Director Sister Catherine M. Ryan, O.S.F. led the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Juvenile Justice Bureau from 1997 until December 2004. During that time, she worked with State’s Attorney Richard A. Devine to develop a restorative justice approach in juvenile justice. In December 2004, Sr. Ryan was appointed Executive Director of Maryville, a childcare organization that has been serving children and families in Illinois since 1883.

Organization Description: Maryville is a child care organization rooted in Catholic social teaching and dedicated to the preservation of the dignity of children at every age. Maryville provides respite, shelter, and residential care for children.  Maryville also provides a therapeutic day school, wrap-around services, after school sports programs, and outpatient behavioral health services.

Additional Information

Parking is available at 321 E. Erie (entrances on E. Erie and E. Ontario) or at 222 E. Huron (entrances on E. Superior and E. Huron). Discounted parking vouchers will be provided reducing rate to $11 for up to 7 hours (see Streeterville Campus Map).

Light refreshments will also be provided.

The Connection between Drugs and Violence

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

This meeting focused on the complex relationship between drugs and violence, at the individual and systems levels. A panel discussion and action-oriented breakout groups examined the variety of ways these issues are connected.


  • Kathleen Kane-Willis, Chicago Urban League
  • Antonio Maggittee, Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE)
  • Juan Padilla, Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE)
  • Harold Pollack, University of Chicago Crime Lab
  • Marlita White, Chicago Department of Public Health

Link to panelists' full bios.

Meeting Overview (links coming soon...)
  • Breakout Discussion Summary/Detailed Notes
  • Evaluation Summary Report
Additional Resources (links coming soon...)

Applying an Anti-racism and Anti-oppression Lens to Violence Prevention

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

This meeting focused on structural violence and how intersectional, anti-oppression strategies can be applied to SCY’s areas of focus: youth development, mental health services, gun violence prevention, justice system reform, and community investment. Action-oriented small group discussions on these topic areas followed a panel discussion on racism and oppression.

  • Kofi Ademola, Activist and Community Organizer, Black Lives Matter Chicago
  • Jennifer Arwade, Co-Executive Director, Communities United
  • Bonsai Bermudez, Executive and Artistic Director, Youth Empowerment Performance Project
  • Rebecca Ford-Paz, PhD, Psychologist, Center for Childhood Resilience
  • Candice Jones, Senior Advisor to Arne Duncan, Emerson Collective
  • Mecole Jordan, Coordinator, Grassroots Alliance for Police Accountability

Link to panelists' full bios.

Meeting Overview


Illinois Health and Human Services Transformation

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This meeting focused on Illinois’ Health and Human Services (HHS) Transformation initiative. This effort began in early 2015 to increase collaboration across government agencies to better meet the complex human services needs. Action-oriented small group discussions focused on children and youth, families, mental health, juvenile justice, and communities followed panel discussion on progress of this initiative and its implications for violence prevention.

  • Lisa J. Betz, LCSW, LCPC, Deputy Director, Child and Adolescent Services, Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Mental Health
  • Heidi E. Mueller, JD, Director, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice
  • Heather O’Donnell, JD, Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, Thresholds

Link to panelists' full bios.

Meeting Overview
Additional Resources



Holding Systems Accountable for Violence Prevention

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The policies of public and private institutions and systems can have profound effects on violence—sometimes contributing to safer and healthier communities and other times exacerbating the problem. To reduce both the interpersonal and structural violence harming Chicago, we must encourage sound decisions by these institutions and systems and hold them accountable for implementing those decisions. During this quarterly meeting, SCY and partners discussed how Chicago's violence prevention stakeholders can work together to ensure sustained commitment to effective violence prevention strategies.

  • Berto Aguayo, Community Activist, Organizer, and Advocate, Mikva Challenge
  • Ashley Boyd, Community Organizer, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)
  • Sarah Johnson, Youth Organizer, Voices of Youth in Chicago Education (VOYCE)
  • Mark Walsh, Campaign Director, Illinois Council to Prevent Handgun Violence
  • Amy Zimmerman, Supervising Attorney, Chicago Medical-Legal Partnership for Children

Link to panelists' full bios.

Meeting Overview
Additional Resources