Doc Wayne Levels the Playing Field

5 May

After a long year of preparation the big day finally arrived! On April 1, 2016 Doc Wayne hosted our inaugural conference, Leveling the Playing Field. The goal of the conference was for leaders from sports, mental health, and social justice to join together and learn about the work of like-minded individuals and nonprofits, exchange ideas, and explore ways to work together to strengthen the communities we serve.

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The conference took place at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge and over one hundred and fifty attendants came out to work together and join the conversation on how we can all become game changers. Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey started the day off as our keynote speaker, with a heartening speech about her belief in the power of sports and her strong support of Doc Wayne’s efforts to assist youth. In her opening speech, the Attorney General emphasized, “I believe in the power of sports to overcome violence, build skills, and bring people together.”

The day then continued on with food, fun, and our photo booth! Two panel discussion sessions were held throughout the day with numerous guest speakers weighing in on topics that included: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Violence, and Mental Illness through Innovation and Game Changing Innovations.

panel 1

The first panel was moderated by WBUR’s Deborah Becker and included representatives from Boston Public Schools, Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, Boston Public Health Commission, New England Community Services, Inc., and Fallon Community Health Plan. The panelists discussed innovative ways we can break the cycle of poverty, violence, and mental illness.

Doc Wayne’s very own Rebekah Roulier joined the second panel discussion with various other game changing innovators. Fred Mann, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation moderated the panel, while guest speakers discussed ways to positively impact youth and reach the goals of the organizations they represent. The representatives on the panel included: Matt Meyersohn from Sports Partnerships at U.S. Fund for UNICEF, Rebekah Roulier from Doc Wayne Youth Services, Marquis Taylor from Coaching4Change, Nikki Valila from My Life My Choice and the Co-founder of Grassroot Soccer, Ethan Zohn represented his organization. The discussion emphasized what we can achieve even with the barriers in our way.

The goals of the conference, were for the participants to exchange ideas, and explore ways to work together to strengthen the communities they serve. Leveling the Playing Field

team

Members of Doc Wayne’s team

achieved just that. Doc Wayne’s Executive Director, David Cohen’s dream is to see practitioners, local leaders and philanthropists working together to create a continuum of care for our youth (read more). We could not have been happier with how the day went and we have great appreciation for everyone who was in attendance and helped make this event happen. None of this would have been possible without the hard work and determination of the Doc Wayne team and our event sponsors. We cannot wait until next year’s Leveling the Playing Field conference. #BeAGameChanger2016! 

For more information on Doc Wayne please email us at info@docwayne.org or follow us on twitter @DocWayneDtG.

 

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